Streamlined Mobile Checkout Tops Browsing

According to recent research from McKinsey & Company, roughly 44 percent of shoppers are using their smartphones while shopping.

As mobile shopping becomes second nature for consumers, retailers need more than just demographic information about their customers to create engaging mobile experiences that will result in repeat visits and transactions.

Retailers have relied heavily on users’ explicit responses and feedback on mobile applications to determine whether their mobile commerce efforts hit the mark. However, with so many external variables and preconceived notions weighing on people’s responses, traditional research methods, such as surveys and focus groups, can’t always be relied upon as a means to evaluate usability.

To determine what users were feeling and paying attention to at each stage of the purchase journey, Plastic Mobile conducted a study with research partner True Impact Marketing to measure the impact of mobile usability and design on mobile commerce purchase path and user engagement. The study identified some surprising insights around optimizing each stage of the purchase process. Here are some of the key takeaways for mobile retailers to consider:

  • To Browse or Checkout – While users may say they like browsing more than checkout, the study suggests the opposite. In all cases, the emotional score declined during browsing, by as much as 76%. A streamlined checkout stage in mobile apps allows for a user- friendly and frictionless transaction resulting in fewer abandoned carts. Once you have something a consumer wants to purchase, it’s important to give them the opportunity to purchase as easily as possible. The highest emotional activation score of 100% engagement that was recorded during the study was at the checkout stage of the Pizza Pizza app where the journey was visual and simple.
  • Get to the Point-- As mobile users tend to expect immediate responsiveness from their smartphones, longer load times in mobile apps can cause frustration and app abandonment. The Best Buy and Hyatt apps were both quick to load, 6.4 seconds and 5.4 seconds, respectively, and the fast load times corresponded directly with positive emotional activation at launch. The difference of one second resulted in the difference between excitement and frustration. It is found that variance in device capabilities paired with enhancements in rich mobile user experiences sometimes threaten load times. This may be forgiven at the outset of an app experience, as the research results suggest, but once the app is up and running, any delays or inconsistencies will likely diminish user confidence. Therefore, if running rich content is necessary, ensure that it loads early.
  • Keep Them Interested -- Maintaining user interest over the course of a transaction is pertinent to encouraging repeat usage of apps. Despite the product or service being offered, the consistent use of visual guiding cues and high fidelity imagery can keep the user’s attention and engagement throughout the purchase journey. A mobile experience that closely mimics the in-store or in-person experience that is so familiar is more likely to engage the user.



The Pizza Pizza app elicited a steady level of interest over the course of the journey averaging 64% attentional engagement, which can correlate to the 79% of users that expressed that they ‘would definitely use again’. Whereas the Best Buy app elicited a steady level of disinterest (attention below median line) at an average of 19%, which also corresponds to only 24% of users expressing that they ‘would definitely use again’. That’s 63% fewer than users that experienced a steady level of positive attentional engagement.

The study illustrated that usability and design are critical to a mobile user experience conducive to driving commerce and transactions. By delivering convenience through an intuitive and engaging mobile app journey, brands can benefit from incremental revenues generated through the mobile channel. These insights can shape the consideration that mobile marketers pay to mobile user experience and design of transactional applications.



1 comment about "Streamlined Mobile Checkout Tops Browsing".
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  1. Retailigence Team from Retailigence, January 20, 2014 at 5:23 p.m.

    The shopping experience, even for the most devoted mobile shopper, often begins on the desktop, moves to a mobile device and follows the shopper to local stores where goods are examined, tried on and selected. Ensuring the user experience of a shopping app Is consistently engaging and relevant throughout the online to offline (O2O) shopping journey is critical.

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