3 Tips for Creating a Great Mobile Shopping Experience

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Online shopping isn’t just a desktop activity. Most consumers own smartphones, and62% of smartphone usershave made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months. However, mobile conversion rates are significantly lower than their desktop counterparts.

This means that shopping cart abandonment is even more common on smartphones than it is during desktop browsing. But skipping out on optimising your online store for mobile is not an option if you want to be a part of the $100 billion industry that is mobile commerce.

An alarming 84% of customers have experienced difficulty completing a mobile transaction. So, how can you meet customer expectations when it comes to mobile shopping? In this article, we’ll cover the top three reasons mobile shoppers don’t complete a purchase, as well as how to address each of these issues to create a better mobile shopping experience for your customers.

Top 3 causes of mobile shopping cart abandonment

  1. Security concerns
  2. Lack of product information
  3. Difficult navigation

1. Security concerns

According to a comScore study, 20.2% of customers cite security concerns as a reason for not converting while shopping on a smartphone. Many customers may feel hesitant about entering their payment information on a mobile device. On desktop, adding security badges can help alleviate security concerns; however, on mobile, there is limited screen real estate.

One of the most straightforward ways to reassure customers that your website is secure is through an extended validation SSL certificate, or EV SSL. EV SSL requires stricter standards and verification than a “regular” SSL certificate.

EV SSL gives mobile browsers a visual cue that your site is secure: your company name or URL will turn green in the address bar, and a lock icon will appear next to your name. Without an SSL certificate, certain mobile browsers may give security warnings to shoppers trying to access your site, resulting in less traffic and lost sales.

Another way to relieve customer worries about mobile checkout security is to offer a payment method that does not require them to manually enter credit card details on your website. (This also simplifies the checkout process as a whole — more on that later.) For example, offering PayPal allows you to leverage the credibility of the brand name, and gives customers the option to be redirected to PayPal’s secure site to complete checkout.

2. Product information

That same comScore study found that 19.6% of shoppers say the inability to see product detail caused them to leave an e-commerce site on mobile without completing a purchase. Before checking out, customers may want a chance to review their selections within their cart.

Make sure that customers have a clear overview of the most important product information without having to return to each individual product page to review their selections. Because navigating on mobile can be more difficult than on desktop, the fewer clicks, the better.

This product information should include the product name, a high-quality product image, any customisation options (size, colour, etc.), and the quantity. (As a side note, giving customers as much product detail as possible throughout their shopping experience can also help prevent costly returns.)

Since 23% of abandoned carts (on both mobile and desktop) come from customers being surprised by a total order cost they were unable to calculate upfront, we also recommend showing a shipping estimate before the customer goes through the entirety of the checkout process.

While shipping costs are not going to be the same for every customer, let customers know which shipping options you have available, or have them enter their postcode for a rough estimate.

Overall, provide the customer with as much clarity and control as possible during the purchasing process so that they feel confident buying from you on their mobile device.

3. Navigation

Difficulty navigating comes in a close third, with 19.3% of customers reporting it as a reason for abandoning a shopping cart on mobile. Navigating an online store via mobile browser is trickier than on desktop for a variety of reasons, such as a smaller screen and lack of keyboard. Research shows that 49% of people use their mobile phones with one hand, meaning that if they can’t reach part of the page with their dominant thumb, they probably won’t click on it — at least, not comfortably.

Here are three simple ways to make your website and checkout more easily navigable for mobile shoppers:

Break it up

When filling out a checkout form, touch screens require an on-screen keyboard to take up a big chunk of the screen. To make the number of keyboard input entry requirements less intimidating, break up the forms into multiple pages or steps, and include a progress indicator to let visitors know what step of the check out process they are on.

Buttons, not links

Big thumbs and a small screen can make for some accidental clicks, especially when link text appears in-line with the rest of the text displayed. Use buttons instead of text links to indicate where your customer should click next. Make sure that the buttons stand out with a colour or border and are wide enough for users to click on with their thumbs.

Faster checkout

Your checkout should not only be easy to complete on mobile but quick to navigate, too. One way to make your checkout faster is by offering a guest checkout. A guest checkout option allows customers to complete their purchase without having to register for an account on your site.

Another way to speed up the payment process for mobile customers is by offering an express checkout payment option. The presence of a trusted express payment option like PayPal can not only alleviate security concerns but also offer the added convenience of simply entering login info rather than having to reach for their credit card and enter those details.  


According to Baymard Institute, “78% of mobile e-commerce sites perform poorly.” By addressing the three top reasons mobile shoppers abandon their carts — security concerns, lack of product information, and difficult navigation — you can create a top-notch mobile shopping experience for your customers.

Showcase security, give ample product info throughout the checkout process, be transparent with costs, and simplify navigation; these will lead to happier customers and higher mobile conversion rates for you. That’s what we call a win-win.

Learn more

Want to create a customer experience that wins business and keeps customers coming back? Download our free guide on How to Nail the Customer Experience.

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Rachel was a Content Marketing Specialist at ShipBob, where she created content that helps ecommerce merchants build and grow their businesses.

Read all posts written by Rachel Burns