While technology has benevolently gifted each sector since its very inception, one of its greatest gifts to mankind is the power to shop. Online shopping has proved to be a boon. Those who’ve considered it to be a bane have time and ‘gain been proved wrong. It’s persistency in outdoing itself each time has helped firms establish an online presence in the retail space. But an aspect which has reeled in quite a major populace to online shops is its availability on a phone. While a computer might not be accessible to all, a phone always is.
Given this, many online shops these days are opting for a dedicated mobile app. In a study that examined retail brands like Target, Macy’s, Walmart, Costco, Sears and Kohl’s – it was seen that each of those stores which had mobile apps had customers visiting them more frequently than the ones with no apps.
All of us, at some point in time, have given into the temptation of installing an Ecommerce app just by way of peeking into what it really has in store for us. While some have delighted us, others have outright disappointed us. While there are many reasons why some Ecommerce apps fail to keep their customers engaged, one of the fundamental reasons is their ‘checkout experience.’
Here’s what would happen if your ecommerce apps’ checkout process is built like a fortress (meaning unbreachable walls for your goody two shoes customers). Wary to read this through? Go on, good chances you’d find the ideal solutions in tow!
Best Practices to Simplify the Checkout Process of your Ecommerce app
- Remember details of your Precious Customers
Barring mothers, nobody is entertained for being nosy…consistently. Most retail apps are like a broken record, spitting out redundant questions until the customer decides to hit the ‘X’ on the top. How do you avoid that? Design an app which saves the crucial information about customers. Once fed, returning customers should always be able to quickly checkout. This makes shopping a hassle free experience.
For the first time user, a designer can always integrate Google maps or apps of similar nature into the app which would enable customers to quickly spot the shipping location at one click. As a rule of thumb, always let users see the option of both ‘New Account’ and ‘Existing Account’ in the same instance. This would save the user from unnecessary clicks thereby keeping him/her happy. Result-Returning customers!
- Have a Simple User Interface
Nobody enjoys the process of getting a loan or reimbursement because of the heavy paperwork involved in it. Do you want your app competing with these? Having a simple interface is always a plus. The end user would be your one time customer just because of a checkout flooded with unnecessary visuals. Apps like PayPals are already reaping the benefits of this by way of moving to one touch pay in 2014.
A slick and finished app always boasts of minimal visuals or artfully done visuals, take your pick. A checkout which gives an impression of space would psychologically always appeal to all. Moreover, stick to the basics, don’t recreate the experience of filling out a government form. Illustrating a meter which would inform customers about their progress as they reach closer to their goal would also be rewarding. Why do you think people love the Apple store?
- Inform First and Fast
Don’t get into the bad habit of announcing an out of stock product just when the customer reaches the final stage of checkout-payment. It would infuriate them, period! Let the customers know the availability of the product beforehand. In case of limited stock, an app can always opt for a real time countdown which would make the process of transportation from selection to checkout transparent. Integrate the timer into the checkout directory as well giving them a push in the right direction.
Waiting till the end to drop the bomb is always a no! An element of fun can always be added to the countdown by replacing it with a time bomb, candles on a cake and the like.
- Keep the Navigation Easy and Intuitive
If your intention is to leave a lasting impression on your customers, then you can never ever go wrong with this. Instead of layers of windows where one is dedicated to addresses and other to payment, let user see all the boxes on one page. Mobile phones are much smaller than computers, meaning the variegated layers of windows spell inconvenience for app users. Going back and forth can often be tedious. The billing address box can always be flanked by boxes dedicated to shipping and bank details.
Too much in one place? Why not include a checkbox stating same as shipping (or, billing address). In that case the checkout would only show two boxes with a collapsible box (which would only be needed if the customer desires to key in a separate billing and shipping address).
- Learn from the Best
If WhatsApp authentication works well without the need of the user doing any manual work, so can your checkout as well. How about a thumb impression and voila! All the details magically appear in the field required to be filled. Taking a cue from apps and technology which aren’t inhabiting the retail space would always be fruitful for your app. Innovating shortcuts in case of checkout would not be a bad cut for your business.
Redesign your ‘Checkout’ Experience and Keep Customers Coming Back
Your retail app might be a treasure chest, but overlooking seemingly small aspects can drive away hundreds of prospective customers each day. Smartphones are meant to shelter smart apps. If your app cannot be listed under smart, then it’s time to change.
In depth knowledge about the retail space laced with innovative marketing ideas with deep roots in app design is a one stop solution which all retail app makers should seek. Being a hit online would not necessarily translate into fame in the kingdom of apps. Users are often known to drift to apps which give them a better login and checkout experience.
Aspire to make it big, checkout simple!
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