Shopping and retail have transformed considerably over the last 3 years, and even more so if you factor in advancements in mobile device capabilities. Mobile shoppers expect their applications to make the process as easy as possible for them, and every snag in the buying flow has the potential to result in a lost sale.
Designing and developing for retail applications is focused predominately on the direct sale or conversion. This means developers will have to design a UX with conversion as the goal in mind and need to make getting from product page to checkout page as easy and straightforward as possible.
A full product detail description is hugely important to shoppers. Since they are not able to touch and feel the product in their own hands, clear descriptions can be the deciding factor between a sale and a pass.
Especially in the case of mobile shopping, brands are given a very small screen space to give product details, so developers should make an effort to use clear and short descriptions. Alternatively, if devs prefer or need a longer page, they can develop the page to be clean and succinct while giving users the option to scroll.
Amazon does a great job of laying out their product descriptions and giving their users the info they need to feel good about making a purchasing decision. Take a look:
The long scroll page gives the shopper everything they might need in a clean, easy to navigate way. Rather than clicking/tapping into another area for reviews, then clicking/tapping into another area for product specs, then yet another click/tap to see the images of the product, Amazon places everything on a long scroll page to make it as easy as possible for the shopper.
Obviously, reviews of a product are critical to those who prefer to shop from their devices than in-store. Actual, word-of-mouth referrals are
Reviews, in general, are a one-two punch: You've got to make it as easy to read them as it is to leave them. Many shopping brands rely on reviews and even have a reputation in their communities about them. For example, ModCloth is a brand whose community relies heavily on thoughts and opinions of other reviewers, even going as far as allowing reviewers to include their body type and measurements in their reviews of products. This makes their shoppers feel informed about the products and definitely makes them eager to leave reviews of their own to contribute to the community.
Developers should include reviews of products right in the specific product-level interface, and if there are no reviews, developers should set up methods to ask past customers for reviews.
Once users add an item to their cart, some retailers attempt to force them to check out or make it difficult to go back to where they were before they added the items to the cart. Instead, confirm to the user that the item has indeed been added to the basket and allow users to continue shopping. This is also a good opportunity to offer product recommendations related to items placed in the basket. If the goal is high cart totals and multiple sales in one shopping experience, this feature will make a big impact.
Let your users control their carts, for crying out loud! Few things are more annoying than trying to edit a shopping cart on a mobile device from a brand who has not optimized their shopping cart. Even Google itself recommends retail brands allow users to control their baskets at each stage of their buying funnel.
Adding steps to the journey from landing to check out only hurts your chances of actually making the sale. A fast way to frustrate the heck out of your shoppers is to require them to go backward in the buying flow to try to edit or control their shopping carts. The more chances you give your user to abandon that cart, the more often they will abandon the cart.
Developers should give users the option to edit the quantity of product in the cart directly from the cart page, and should give them additional options like "add to wishlist" or "save for later", and of course "remove from cart". It's far better for you to make it easier for your user to change the quantity from "2" to "1" than it is to lose the customer altogether.
Asking users to register up front before they can view products or make a purchase is a huge barrier to entry and conversion. We get it - you want the user's information so that you can market them in other ways, such as via email, social, etc. While this set up seems like the smartest approach, asking users to register with you before purchasing is annoying and a hassle. Even with auto-saved credit card information on most browsers, asking users to give you all of their info up front leads to high abandon cart rates and low conversion rates. The Neilsen Norman Group gives some great points as to why this is. They've even recommended not requiring registration since 1999. Remember what online shopping was in 1999? Check out the Neilson Norman Group's article explaining why developers should avoid pre-checkout registration here:
Luckily, retailers have a few options when they wish to avoid asking their shoppers to register before checking out. They are:
App developers that make it as easy and simple as possible to search, learn, add to cart, and complete a purchase will have the highest conversion rates and are more likely to succeed online. Additional menu bars, long scroll pages, and other factors will make it as easy as possible for your users to navigate from any device, and
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