15 Essential Elements to Improving Mobile Checkout Conversion

In 2015, it was estimated that mcommerce accounted for almost 40% of online purchases globally. That’s a staggering rise in the relatively short time mobile devices have been in use and the connectivity capabilities that have allowed purchases on them to be viable.

It goes without saying that your site should be accommodating mobile devices, either through dedicated m-sites or responsively designed sites so that your users have an optimised experience that take into consideration the restrictions and ergonomics of a mobile device. This is particularly the case when it comes to checkouts. A mobile user may be willing to tolerate content that is not 100% optimised for mobile, but not when it comes to the checkout. A badly optimised mobile purchase funnel can make a huge difference, as all those small annoyances experienced on a desktop are amplified due to the small screen.

So with that in mind, here are 15 essential elements to help improve your mobile checkout.

1. Big, easy-to-click buttons and form fields

This is crucial for a smooth checkout processes especially when you’re talking about a generation who aren’t as used to purchasing on mobile and people with small screens (big fingers?).

AO.com clear buttons

2. Progress bar

Just like your standard desktop checkout, a progress bar that stands out is key to allaying fears around the length of the checkout. This is particularly the case for mobile where there is the perception that checkouts are more difficult.

Mobile Progress Bar Jessops

3. Essential information only

Any information that is not essential to the checkout process, consider removing. Unlike desktop, mobile can feel very cluttered very quickly so you want to remove all non-essential fields and selections.

4. Justifications on why you’re asking for sensitive information

People are wary about giving out sensitive personal information such as email and phone numbers, and even more so on mobile devices. Given them brief reasons why you need them and why it will help their order, so they feel more comfortable giving you this information.

Mobile Checkout - email field

5. Explanations along the way

Be explicit about what each section of the form is asking and what you want them to do. It may seem obvious, but these small prompts help reassure users about difficult forms and guide the user to where you want to them to go

Mobile Checkout - the importance of clear direction

6. Highlight USPs along the path

Make sure you keep reminding your users of the value your site offers – free shipping, excellent post-purchase care etc. Usually around the main CTA at the bottom to provide extra reassurance around key decision making points. Make it visible but not overwhelming.

Mobile checkout - highlighting USPs

7. Keep extra information in expandable elements, don’t clutter the page

Due to screen size, keep any additional information around form fields as clickable question marks or expandable tabs, this reduces copy and the page and lets the customer focus on the important elements on the page.

Mobile checkout - using popups

8. Use selection buttons rather than radio buttons

Radio buttons can be easy to miss if they’re small and tricky to click, especially if there are more than two options. For mobile devices selection buttons tend to be easier to see and click.
Selection buttons instead of radio buttons

9. Form validations that take you directly to the error

When you show someone an error on the form, it’s imperative you take them there (the first one if there’s more than one). The process of having to scroll up and down a form looking for errors is a sure fire way to put people off.

10. Ask for sensitive information last in the form

If you’re asking for emails and telephone numbers make sure these form fields are towards the end of your form. You always want your most sensitive information requests last once the user has already started completing the form and feels invested in the process.

11. Predictive post code/address finders

Predictive anything is a plus on a mobile device as it removes the barrier of typing on the keypad. Automated address finders are even better as they remove the ‘find your address’ button from the process. Just make sure you have the option of manually inputting also. Automated finders are great, but automated finders that don’t work are intensely annoying.

12. Take advantage of the mobile UI elements and ergonomics

Take advantage of a mobile device’s ergonomics and natural mindset of a mobile user by using a numerical keypad whenever you can for number inputs.

Mobile Checkout - Mobile UI

13. Give benefits if you want your users to login or create an account

Having users log in or create an account can give you valuable remarketing information, however, many users are reluctant to agree to this, preferring to checkout as a guest. Incentivise them to create an account by briefly explaining how they benefit. For example, ‘Log in and save time through the checkout’, ‘create an account and save your information for quicker purchases in the future’


14. Offer Paypal for users wary of giving CC details over mobile

This hopefully goes without saying, but the more payment options the better. Paypal and Google Wallet are your friends.


15. Make it easy to contact the company

Make sure your company number is displayed prominently and can be click-called. The user, after all, is using a smartphone.


By Sean Patterson