Effective ways to optimise the mobile shopping experience

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Leigh Mardon

Reading time: 4 minutes

Mobile is a huge trend in eCommerce this year however there’s still a problem. A recent report found that although mobile accounts for 76% of total traffic, it’s only 20% of revenue. One of the reasons conversions are falling short is because the mobile experience is hindering the sale. This missed opportunity can be bridged by something as simple as focusing more attention the mobile experience.

In this post we’ll explore how retailers can streamline the customer journey on this device and optimise the overall shopping experience, ultimately, turning browsing into buying.

Streamline navigation from homepage through to checkout

A recent study by Fetch has found that 73% of mobile-first users, or those who heavily rely on mobile devices, would not hesitate to leave a site that was hard to navigate on a phone. 

Mobile users are often on the go and want to find the right product as quickly as possible. Starting from the homepage, keep it simple with nothing more than the company name, a hamburger menu (3 line menu), search bar and information on your featured products. Or instead of a featured product, you could advertise enticing deals. One study found that 74% of people researched offers on their smartphone when shopping in-store, this could be the perfect opportunity to offer them a better deal for buying online.

Improve navigation by ensuring category filters and the search bar are easily accessible from any point on the site. Women’s clothing company Seasalt do this well, they use a sticky bar with 3 clear calls to action visible on every page: Search, Menu and Basket. The infamous ‘3-click rule’ is achieved with this this type of navigation and it’s useful for a faster customer journey, especially on mobile.  

Don’t ask for irrelevant or additional info at checkout

Around 35% of shoppers abandon their basket because they are forced to sign-up before completing checkout. Don’t make it mandatory for new customers to make an account in order to make a purchase. That also goes for making them login, it’s a good idea to have a ‘guest’ option for those looking to make a quick buy. If you want customers to sign-up, suggest they do it long before checkout, otherwise the sale may fall flat.

Another way to minimise friction at checkout is by having less data entry required. For example, reduce the number of form fields the customer has to fill out. Typing on a small screen can be irritating, so just ask the user to enter vital information for minimal effort.

Sarah Raven reduces the steps further by asking the user to enter 1 address that can be used for both billing and shipping. You can even add an address ‘nickname’ for a quicker transaction next time.

One of the biggest causes of friction on mobile is having a complicated or lengthy checkout process. The inability to move seamlessly to purchase will cause basket abandonment so it’s vital to simplify the final steps. Use the same principles as the main site navigation by keeping the checkout flow as simple as possible with few distractions. AO’s checkout has a clearly defined path with no additional information required.

Autocomplete for added convenience

According to a study by WebCredible, users “don’t like performing lengthy tasks by mobile”, which includes physically typing things like login, billing, shipping address and card information.

Use autocomplete in field forms whenever possible in order to populate customers previously used or saved information to save time. The auto fill of contact information like name, address, phone numbers and bank cards is supported by 2 major mobile browsers; Safari Mobile and Chrome.

Similarly, systems like Paypal and Amazon Pay can massively reduce friction at checkout by retaining saved account information. Whittard include and advertise these payment options clearly at checkout. Also, as they’re reputable providers, it’ll help customers trust your site’s security measures.

As well as saved data, have functionality in place that populates new information quickly. Use address lookup at the checkout so users only need to enter a postcode. Once they do, the remaining fields will be automatically filled. It reduces the chance of errors by improving accuracy and efficiency for shoppers.

blubolt client Route One use bluCommerce functionality at the checkout, including an address autocomplete function. The search intuitively fills in the address from the first letter typed for a speedier checkout.

Prioritising quick search is also an excellent time-saver for the customer. You should display auto-suggest in the search bar after the 3rd character has been entered to minimise keystrokes on a smaller screen. From one-tap on the bar, you could display trending searches, a great way to up sell products. Auto suggestions are a powerful tool to reduce data input and help users find more accurate results.

Seasalt’s responsive search bar is easily located, initially it shows the trending searches and once the user starts typing, even the colour of an item, it will automatically search their product range.

Offer a better cross-channel experience

Use a Persistent cart or basket to encourage users to continue shopping with you at a later date. Often, a shopper will browse on one device and purchase on another. A persistent basket feature allows the user to save products to their basket, then access them later when they log into their account on a different device.

It’s great for those on the go, especially a mobile user, who can make a quick purchase from their basket. All they do is login and the saved item is waiting ready to buy for a quicker, easier transaction. blubolt are about to introduce this persistent basket feature on their platform, bluCommerce, which offers the customer this smoother cross-channel experience.

Offer Click & Collect options

70% of consumers shopping on their mobiles want businesses to be located within 5 miles of their location, one reason is so they can browse the product online and shop in store. For a final conversion push offer Click & Collect services, so people aren’t just researching, they’re purchasing before they go to into the shop.

Customers who are browsing on mobile are more likely to follow through with the transaction if they can easily pick-up the purchase nearby. Advertise your Click & Collection offers clearly on both the homepage and checkout.

Topshop have the delivery banner on the homepage and one click takes to clearly defined collection options. These options are also easy to locate and select at checkout too.

When shopping on a mobile, customer are seeking simplicity, speed and convenience. Following these easy steps can help you achieve this for your online shop and ultimately, more conversions. If you’re an eCommerce company looking to optimise your mobile platform and want to hear more about what blubolt can do for you, get in contact today.


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