Picture this scenario.
A shopper has decided to purchase a product or service from your online store. But wait, they’re shopping on a smartphone and when they proceed to checkout, frustration sets in
Perhaps it’s too many steps. Or on the flip side, maybe it’s such a pared down “one-click checkout” experience, they can’t choose a delivery or subscription option that matters to them.
In that instant, they choose to abandon the cart.
One of the key reasons people walk away from a potential purchase, as in the scenario above, is because of a poor mobile checkout experience.
Would they be more likely to make that same purchase if they were on a desktop computer?
Statistically, yes. According to The Checkout Benchmark, checkout completion rates on desktop are 52.5 per cent, 10 percentage points higher than mobile completion rate.
That’s a lot of potential revenue, lost due to the mobile experience gap.
To a degree, this is because brands are serving up a one size fits all checkout to customers regardless of channel or device. The problem being, one size fits all, does not in fact, fit all.
“Checkout should be tailored based on whether shoppers are using mobile or desktop, given the smaller screen size with less space on mobile,” says Anatolii Iakimets, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Bold.
A tailored experience is actually even more important than a short one, i.e. digital wallets or one-click checkout, he explains, because you are still providing the customer with the exact checkout options or features they want, in as few steps as possible.
To achieve a tailored one-click checkout, you need to develop a tried and tested checkout flow that is device dependent, plays off the key opportunities and addresses the main challenges of the device, be it mobile, desktop, or connected device, aimed at reducing checkout abandonment, leading to increased revenue.
How checkout flow can differ, depending on device
- The origin or channel where the shopper added the item to their cart – website, social, kiosk.
- The device — for the sake of this discussion mobile or desktop.
- The customer segment, such as a guest, registered customer, or B2B account.
- The type, meaning a one-click checkout, a single page checkout or multiple page checkout.
Some businesses and marketers assume that a true one-click checkout — such as in a mobile retail app, when a purchase can be completed with a single swipe — is always the best option to maximize conversion.
But actually, successful ecommerce brands“aim to have different checkout flows depending on the device used, the product being sold and other key purchase or shipping options,” explains Iakimets.
For instance, many retailers find that a customer wants to take a little more time to review product details when making a purchase that costs several thousand dollars, he says. This is easier to do during a desktop checkout process, because there’s more space on the screen to include relevant information and say, choose different payment options. At this point, the consumer is experiencing more of a single page checkout.
Alternatively, a small mobile purchase likely requires less information review by the shopper, and has less space to offer those details anyways. It can also easily be purchased in a true one-click process, if the consumer already has payment options authorized on their phone, says Iakimets.
“Even if you’re a guest user, you can use Apple Pay or Google Pay to prefill all your billing and shipping information, so you can click on ‘Buy Now’ and off you go.”
On desktop, often the customer doesn’t have access to this pre-established payment and delivery information unless logged into a customer account, he says.
With these examples in mind, you may be thinking that a true one-click checkout for mobile is the best route, while a single or even multiple page checkout that offers more details and options is the preferred option for desktop.
Not necessarily, says Iakimets. The only way to know which checkout flow is best for the product you’re selling on a specific device, is to measure and A/B test different checkout experiences and figure out which option is optimized for highest conversion.
Tailor your mobile and desktop checkout experiences
So how do you get started with A/B testing for your checkout process?
There are some key considerations to keep in mind, when putting together your device-specific strategies.
Take desktop for example, says Iakimets. “Digitally mature retailers are less likely to stick with a true one-click checkout, because they can go beyond that and include an extra upsell widget that offers an accessory the customer might want to purchase, for example.”
This could lead to an even better conversion opportunity, and it allows you to differentiate your checkout experiences from competitors, he says. “You have the freedom to tailor the one-click experience to what you need.”
Other additional options you can include more easily via a desktop experience because of screen size, are expanded shipping and delivery opportunities, such as BOPIS (buy online pick-up in store). Or you can offer customers the chance to buy and send a gift to someone, with a personalized message included. There are also loyalty widgets that encourage customers to acquire and use points, and subscription options that invite them to commit to future purchasing.
What about mobile checkout?
Again, screen size is more limited on these devices, so you’re unlikely to include as much product information or add as many widgets as on desktop, Iakimets explains. But the opportunity for a true one-click option is more readily available thanks to pre-filled payment and personal information (like a consumer’s address, email and phone number).
An enhanced delivery option like BOPIS is still possible via mobile checkout. The customer may just find the pickup store defaults to the location closest to them — versus on desktop, where they might be able to choose a preferred pickup spot by scrolling on a map, says Iakimets.
“A/B testing these options allows you to experiment and figure out what works and what doesn’t, because even among different brands we have data that shows conversion rates differ significantly. To tailor checkout, you have to test, there is no one size fits all approach.”
A tailored checkout, developed with headless solutions, helps reduce cart abandonment
Ultimately, the goal of tailoring your checkout experience is to help reduce friction, offer customers the specific upsell, loyalty and shipping options they have indicated they are interested in, incentivizing purchase and boosting checkout completion.
There are a lot of external reasons why shoppers might walk away from a cart, says Iakimets. Especially on a mobile device, “people are often riding transit or sitting in a park, virtually window shopping — which means they have less buying intent.”
That said, they’re still on your site, and when they place an item in your cart, and especially once they proceed to checkout, that’s a clear sign there is buying intent and a revenue opportunity. The checkout stage of the shopper journey plays an integral role in reducing cart abandonment..
If a brand with $50 million in annual online sales improves their mobile conversion rate from 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent, for instance, they can earn $5 million more in yearly revenue.
Now, the actual functionality that’s required to tailor checkout experiences based on device and product can be a little complicated, depending on the backend of your ecommerce platform. Unless you employ a headless checkout solution, that is.
Headless APIs allow brands to create differentiated one-click or one-page checkout flows (which you can easily A/B test) on a variety of platforms, and achieve the tailored experiences we’ve been talking about, to seamlessly personalize the checkout process and increase completion rates.
“The whole point is to create a frictionless checkout experience that converts higher wherever and whenever the consumer is shopping,” says Iakimets.
Learn more about how your brand can customize a one-click experience with Bold Checkout: Buy Now.