Mobile commerce is on the rise, and everyone in retail could benefit from offering a mobile app to their users. However, a mobile experience is a lot different from a desktop experience, and the two designs should differ significantly.
As many as 90% of online shoppers say they’re not satisfied with their mobile shopping experience. Many of them use the app to browse but complete the purchase on their desktop computer.
Fortunately, there are ways to make the user experience (UX) much better for your e-commerce app. Here’s how.
1. Simple Navigation
Mobile devices have much smaller screens, and you need to adjust your app navigation accordingly. Luckily, many examples of mobile apps can teach us a lot about the most comfortable ways to navigate an e-commerce app.
Tinder has shown us the convenience of gesture-based navigation. Just think about how people tend to hold their phones and the way they reach their thumbs to perform an action. You want to support the natural finger gestures instead of forcing the principles of desktop shopping.
For example, it’s much better to make your pages swipeable than to base them on tapping on tiny arrows to see the next product. What’s more, you want all the important elements of the interface to be within thumb reach so that users can do everything with one hand.
2. Make It Feel Secure
One of the biggest concerns for mobile app users is security. You need to make them feel completely secure before they provide their credit card information. Any little imperfection can make them suspicious and cause them to leave before they complete a purchase.
One way to instill this sense of security in your app users is to use a lot of suggestive words, such as “secure,” “encrypted,” “private,” etc. This small but significant gesture will reassure many of them.
The best way to prove your e-commerce app is safe for use is to display the badge of your security provider. Visuals are often much more powerful than words, so a trust badge, a lock symbol for encryption, and anything similar will help your users feel at ease.
3. Make Search Easy
When consumers open an e-commerce app, they usually want to look for a specific item. If it takes them forever to narrow down their search or they get unsatisfactory filtering results, they’ll leave without thinking twice.
The search option is likely the most important feature of your app. It’s best to put it above the fold, at the top of the screen, so that users can spot it easily. You should also provide an advanced filtering option so that the customer can be as specific as possible while looking for an item.
It’s also not a bad idea to have an auto-suggest option to anticipate their searches and save them some time.
4. Make Instant Support Available
You don’t need to have live support on your e-commerce app since you can harness the power of artificial intelligence for that purpose. In fact, mobile users love self-service, so making an AI-based chatbot available at the bottom right corner of the screen will hit home.
Chatbots are a great way to help customers around while cutting costs on human agents. They can answer any questions, provide assistance, lead them to the right pages, recommend products, etc.
You can make them even easier to use by enabling voice commands. This way, app users don’t even have to lift a finger, and they’ll get instant feedback and support that will keep them shopping at your store.
If you’d rather go for a more traditional take on support, ensure that it’s still easily accessible within your app. For example, with an in-app chat.
5. Have a Straightforward Checkout
When people decide to shop from their smartphones, they do it for convenience. That’s why the entire customer journey needs to be as smooth as possible. There’s nothing more annoying and discouraging than finding the items you like, putting them in the cart, and proceeding to an unnecessarily complicated checkout form.
If you want to avoid cart abandonment caused by complicated checkout, make it as simple as you can. Ask only for the essential information, mark the steps, enable instant input validation so that going through the form is a breeze. If they make an error, they should be able to notice and correct it right away, instead of having to go back to the form over and over again.
It’s also a great idea to add address lookup so that the field can auto-fill if the user enables their location.
6. Allow Users to Zoom In Using Familiar Gestures
Various popular apps have made it a norm to allow mobile users to zoom in on a picture using the pinching or tapping gesture. That’s why users now tend to expect this possibility. As an e-commerce store, it’s vital to have quality product photos and allow your users to explore them in great detail.
Established gestures are always your best bet; there’s no need to invent anything new. Users want comfort and predictability, so give them exactly that.
Of course, your product images also need to be large enough so that when people zoom in, they can see the details, not pixels.
7. Make the Cart Work Like a Wishlist
The biggest problem when shopping via your phone is the small size of the screen. That’s why it’s best to introduce an option to save a shopping cart. This way, users can save the items they like for later purchase and continue to browse. This option is much better than expecting the users to scroll all the way back to pick the final products after they’re done browsing.
Another great idea is to introduce email reminders for saved items. Users will be much more likely to complete that purchase if you remind them of the products in their cart.
As you can see, it’s all about simplicity and ease of use. When considering your e-commerce app design, just think like a user. What are the things that annoy you the most while mobile shopping? You should also test the prototype before you decide to launch the app.
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Jennifer Wilson is a writer at Qeedle.com. She knows business processes and operations management inside out. As she understands all the challenges of running a small business firsthand, it’s her mission to tackle the topics that are most relevant to entrepreneurs and offer viable solutions.