Why Mobile Shoppers Prefer a Simplified Checkout Process

February 20, 2019

By: PayPal

This article is part of our ongoing Mobile Optimization Initiative series designed to help Magento merchants close the mobile revenue gap.

Last quarter results from the Mobile eCommerce Optimization Initiative are in, and they reveal that simplicity wins in mobile checkout optimization. The results come from a Magento Community Initiative made possible through a collaboration between PayPal, Magento, HiConversion, and a community of eCommerce System Integrators.

Magento merchants participating in the Initiative saw a steady increase in revenue per visitor (RPV) as they continued optimization experiments in the last quarter of 2018. Merchants saw on average, an 8.6% increase in RPV by implementing optimizations to the checkout process.

The 2018 holiday retail season was record-setting. But what does that really mean? Adobe Analytics reports that consumers spent a staggering $125.91 billion in November and December; $7.9 billion just on Cyber Monday. Unfortunately, purchases on mobile devices only made up 36% of those sales, even though over half (54.3%) of online shoppers were on mobile.

The numbers don’t lie. Magento merchants could see significant growth if they optimize for mobile—it’s time to get involved in the Initiative. The results from last quarter’s experiments show a distinct trend: the key to increasing mobile conversions is to simplify and streamline the checkout process.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the results.

Distracted Customers Aren’t Converting

Forbes estimates that nearly all mobile shoppers (95%) are only giving eCommerce merchants their partial attention.

While merchants have little control over external distractions like work, friends, or television, they can work to rid their platforms of additional distractions that could push potential customers off of their sites entirely.

The following data collected from checkout optimization experiments that specifically served to either simplify the buying process or remove distractions were found to be particularly effective.

Simplify the Cart Page Header

The hypothesis behind the simplified cart page header experiment is that merchants can increase conversions by reducing the number of elements in the shopping cart header. The idea is to get rid of unnecessary distractions and make the checkout process smoother and more streamlined.

Merchants participating in this experiment first removed all header elements not directly related to the checkout or continued shopping experience. Once that was done, they added elements back progressively to determine the optimal balance for RPV lift.

This experiment gave merchants an average 6% increase in RPV on mobile, as well as positive results for desktop and tablet. Simplification increased conversions, just as predicted. More detailed results can be found on the simplified cart page header experiment page.

Collapse the Coupon Code Field

Many merchants use coupon codes to boost sales and encourage customers to return. However, in some cases, this tactic can actually hurt conversions by sending customers offsite—hunting for coupons and never returning to complete the purchase.

In this experiment, the coupon code entry field is minimized but not eliminated. This removes the distraction without getting rid of the popular sales tactic.

This experiment yielded an average 8% RPV increase on mobile devices, indicating that collapsing coupon fields doesn’t deter shoppers from using their coupons and encourages other shoppers to complete their purchases. More detailed results can be found on the coupon collapse experiment page.

Shoppers Don’t Want Extra Work

eCommerce merchants with overly-complex checkout processes miss out on approximately $236 billion a year in potential sales, according to the PYMNTS Checkout Conversion Index. More and more, consumers are demanding ways to pay that are pain-free and invisible.

Automate Cart Updates

The hypothesis behind this experiment is that, by automatically updating cart item quantities and prices, merchants could reduce friction in the shopping process—and actually increase conversions.

eCommerce consumers want their shopping experiences to be quick and require minimal effort. Facilitating automatic cart updates removes a manual step from the checkout process, and eliminates the clutter of having to display a button to update the shopping cart.

Almost all merchants participating in this experiment saw improvements—the experiment had an over 95% success rate. Implementing this small change yielded an average RPV increase of 3% on mobile and a staggering 32% average RPV lift for desktop shoppers! More detailed results of this experiment are available on the auto card update experiment page.

Add Floating Checkout Button

Impulse purchases are common among mobile shoppers—provided they are quick and easy to make. In this experiment, a floating checkout button is added wherever a checkout button isn’t visible on the screen.

The hypothesis is that this additional button subtly propels shoppers toward the checkout process and helps increase conversion rates. Adding the floating checkout button ensures customers always have a readily-available path to purchase.

Data scientists ended up scratching their heads a bit when the results rolled in. Approximately one-third of merchants experienced an average RPV boost of 9%, but 25% saw small gains or drops of ±2.5%.

Examined more closely, the results showed that 61% of merchants with only one checkout button on the cart page saw an increase in RPV, while only 32% of merchants with two or more buttons had positive results. More detailed results from this experiment can be found on the floating checkout button experiment page.

3 Key Findings for Simplifying Your Checkout Process

Magento System Integrators and Magento merchants can optimize mobile checkouts without investing a lot of time or money. The results of the Mobile eCommerce Optimization Initiative are proving that even small changes to the checkout process can significantly impact mobile conversion rates. Just keep the following key points in mind:

  • Clutter is your enemy. Keep shopping carts functional, but clean. Eliminate any elements that could send customers to other pages or sites during the checkout process.

  • Simplicity is key. Mobile shoppers won’t spend time on multi-step checkouts or complicated forms to buy your product. Keep manual steps to a minimum.

  • Don’t stop experimenting. Keep testing new ways to eliminate distractions and streamline your checkout process until you find what works best for your store. Join the Mobile eCommerce Optimization Initiative to implement the experiments described here and more!

Not sure if this Magento Community Initiative is right for you? So far, participating Magento merchants have increased their RPV by an average of 8.6%. That’s around $19 million in extra revenue. And we’re just getting started. We’re adding new experiments all the time.

To learn how you can be a part of the Mobile eCommerce Optimization Initiative and get free access to the HiConversion software and the eCommerce optimization experts behind it, visit mobileoptimized.org to join the Initiative today.