When customers buy products, they expect a streamlined and easy-to-navigate checkout process. Mobile checkout is one way to improve your checkout process both in person and online.
In a brick-and-mortar store, mobile checkout removes the need for a traditional checkout counter by allowing sales representatives to complete transactions on mobile devices anywhere in the store. For ecommerce, the best mobile checkout experiences minimize shopping cart abandonment by removing any hurdles between the customer and the Pay Now button.
Here’s how to make your mobile checkout simple, effective, and intuitive to convert more sales.
Table of Contents
What is a mobile checkout?
A mobile checkout is the process of completing a purchase on a mobile device such as smartphone or tablet. It involves entering payment information, selecting shipping options, and confirming the order. Mobile checkout experiences are optimized for providing a seamless and user-friendly way for customers to make purchases on their smartphones or devices like Shopify’s POS Go.
Why do mobile ecommerce shoppers abandon their carts?
Shopping cart abandonment is when ecommerce shoppers add items to their cart but fail to complete the purchase. Mobile users abandon their carts for a number of reasons, including a confusing checkout process, an overwhelming amount of on-screen information, and a lack of pricing transparency. Shoppers may also simply decide against the purchase or add items to their cart while browsing without intending to buy. With conversion rates for ecommerce shoppers in the US generally lower on mobile than on desktop, it’s particularly important for companies to improve their mobile checkout process to avoid cart abandonment. Not to mention, nearly one-third of US internet users bought products on their mobile devices each week in 2022. If you’re an ecommerce merchant, mobile checkout optimization can make a significant difference to your bottom line.
A seamless mobile checkout experience in ecommerce will convert more sales and help reduce shopping cart abandonment. According to research conducted by Baymard Institute, 17% of US online shoppers who abandon their carts say they did so because the checkout process was too long and complicated. Ecommerce stores lose $18 billion in sales each year to shopping cart abandonment, and mobile devices have the highest cart abandonment rate, at 85.65%. Mobile devices are an essential part of the ecommerce equation, with mobile users representing nearly 60% of online traffic in 2022.
Best practices for optimizing mobile checkout flow
When it comes to mobile checkout, the name of the game is simplicity. Keep things as brief and as simple as possible to remove friction between your user and their purchase. Specifically:
Minimize the number of required fields
Remember: Mobile devices have limited screen space and users’ thumbs can get tired. Keep your mobile checkout flow as simple as possible by eliminating unnecessary fields—for example, use a single “full name” field rather than three separate fields for first, middle, and last names. You can also hide infrequently used form fields such as “Address line 2,” “Company,” and “Coupon code” behind a link that expands the field only when the customer clicks on it. This removes friction for the average user.
Optimize your website design for mobile devices
Design a simple checkout page layout with clear call-to-action buttons that move your customers from one step to the next. Avoid using hyperlinks to other pages, pop-ups, and any other distracting information that takes your customers away from the checkout page. Set your mobile checkout system to automatically pull up the correct type of keyboard depending on the specific form field—for example, a keyboard featuring “@” and “.com” buttons for email address fields and a numeric keyboard for phone number fields.
Offer guest checkout
Provide a guest checkout option when possible, which allows shoppers to check out without having to create an account with your store. Accounts can give your company useful data while speeding up the checkout process by saving customer payment information. However, requiring your customers to create an account to make a purchase can increase shopping cart abandonment. In fact, according to research by Baymard Institute, 24% of US shoppers abandoned their carts because sites wanted them to create an account. Instead, offer account creation as an option at the end of the transaction.
Enable autofill or express checkout
A mobile checkout process that requires shoppers to manually enter their shipping information makes cart abandonment during the checkout process more likely. Consider including an autofill feature such as Google Autocomplete to automatically fill in information that is saved in a shopper’s Google account. Or, use an express checkout option like Shop Pay, PayPal, or Apple Pay to save mobile shoppers time by removing the need to manually input credit card and shipping information for each purchase.
Provide clear and concise error messages
Use clear visual error indicators, such as a red “X” that automatically pops up next to fields with incomplete or incorrect information and a green check mark that appears once the information is correct. Avoid making your customers wait until the end of the checkout process to learn that they input their information incorrectly or missed a step.
Include a progress indicator
Incorporating progress indicators into the mobile checkout process can effectively manage your customers' expectations and guide them through each step of the process. Examples of common steps in a progress indicator include shipping, payment, and confirmation. Make sure your progress indicators are clearly visible in your mobile checkout, ideally near the top of the screen.
Test your mobile checkout flow
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is the process of comparing two versions of a digital asset and choosing the best option based on user behavior. A/B testing mobile checkout options is one of the best ways to identify problems and fine-tune the flow. Compare different versions of your checkout process until you find the optimal design—the one that results in the highest conversion rate.
Common mobile checkout mistakes to avoid
A complicated mobile checkout process gives your customers more opportunities to abandon their shopping carts. Avoid overloading your mobile customers with unnecessary information that distracts them from their purchase.
Long checkout process
Keep your checkout forms simple and intuitive. Too many checkout pages or forms can increase cart abandonment. Allow autofill features that automatically provide information like shipping and email addresses to save your mobile customers time typing information manually. Offer guest checkout whenever possible to keep customers from getting hung up on an account creation step.
Requiring a customer to type their full credit card number slows down the checkout process—especially on mobile. Express checkout options like Shop Pay, PayPal, and Apple Pay can boost your conversion rate by making the payment process fast and easy. Shopify conducted a study in 2020 and found that mobile checkout conversion rates were 1.91 times higher for Shop Pay checkouts compared to regular checkouts. Adding multiple payment gateway options ensures customers can check out quickly, whether they have their data saved in Shop Pay or a digital wallet like Google Pay.
Poor design and layout
A cluttered checkout page is difficult to navigate, especially on a mobile screen. Design your mobile checkout to simplify the customer experience. Avoid including links that take your customers away from the checkout page. Shopify’s POS Go mobile device simplifies the mobile checkout process in-store by including a simple and customizable design, a built-in bar code scanner and card reader, and an integrated software that updates your other company systems automatically.
Lack of transparency and clarity
Include information about shipping costs, delivery fees, and taxes early in your mobile checkout flow. Surprise fees at the end of the payment process can increase shopping cart abandonment. Offer free delivery whenever possible—according to a study from 2020, free delivery was the leading reason online shoppers purchased a product online.
Inability to save information
Include the option for mobile customers to save their shopping cart for a later purchase. Although guest checkout is the simplest option for one-time purchases, giving your customers the option to save their payment information can streamline future purchases and encourage return customers. Include the option to create an account after a guest checkout purchase is complete—that way, it doesn’t impede the checkout process.
5 examples of high-converting mobile checkouts
Here are five real-world examples of successful mobile checkout processes:
- Glossier. Glossier sells beauty products on an easy-to-navigate mobile site that offers express checkout options like Shop Pay, a one-tap quick checkout with saved details, to simplify the mobile checkout experience.
- Kotn. Clothing brand Kotn uses Shop Pay to enhance its mobile checkout capability with a simple design. According to Kotn co-founder Benjamin Sehl, “The majority of our customers today are discovering new products on the go on their mobile devices, and if they have to fill out a form, we’ve lost them.”
- Silk Laundry. Silk Laundry sells premium clothing products using a simple mobile checkout design on its website, with progress indicators and express checkout options.
- Boden. Clothing brand Boden uses a simple design for mobile shopping that includes minimal form fields with clear promotion codes and call-to-action buttons.
- Cowboy. E-bike company Cowboy keeps checkout simple for each mobile user by making CTA buttons easy to find, offering express checkout options like Shop Pay, and showing estimated delivery dates early in the checkout process.
Mobile checkout FAQ
What are some examples of mobile payment options?
There are several payment gateways that allow for mobile checkout that is quicker and safer than traditional payment options that require entering a credit card number. These include Shop Pay, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
How can I ensure mobile checkout security?
Use a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate to encrypt customer data and authenticate your website. Choose a secure ecommerce platform like Shopify and enable the use of secure payment options like Shop Pay to keep your customers’ information safe during mobile checkout.
Can I use mobile checkout for in-store purchases?
Yes. You can use a mobile checkout system in a brick-and-mortar store by setting up self-checkout mobile devices like smartphones or tablets with tap-to-pay technology for customers who prefer a contactless shopping experience. You can also provide employees with mobile devices to complete transactions anywhere in the store using tools like Shopify’s POS Go, an all-in-one POS device that makes mobile checkout fast and intuitive. Some stores even allow customers to scan and pay for products via an app.
How can I encourage customers to use mobile checkout?
Encourage customers to use mobile checkout by keeping your ecommerce store mobile-friendly with simple designs, easy checkout flows, and clear call-to-action buttons.
How can I evaluate the effectiveness of my mobile checkout process?
Some of the metrics you can use to evaluate your mobile checkout process include your sales conversion rate, average order value, and average cart abandonment rate. Ecommerce platforms like Shopify offer merchants real-time data to see their mobile conversion rates and adjust their mobile checkout processes accordingly.