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Mobile forces simplification and focus: Bagcheck exec

BOSTON – A Bagcheck executive at the eTail Boston Mobile Shopping Summit said that by reducing the number of steps and effort in a mobile check-out, retailers can simplify the mcommerce shopping experience.

The “Optimizing ecommerce Checkout For Mobile Today & Planning For Tomorrow” session gave attendees best practice tips on how to streamline the mobile check-out process. The executive also used examples to show which brands are getting it right or missing the mark.

“Many people consider mobile to be less, but if you build services for mobile and embrace the opportunity, you will quickly find that it is an opportunity to do more – not less,” said Luke Wroblewski, author and founder of Bagcheck, San Francisco.

“Other companies that maybe have not embraced the mobile opportunity upfront are going to be forced to figure it out. More and more we are seeing companies make this transition in a short period of time from having a majority share of desktop and laptop traffic to having a majority of mobile traffic,” he said.

“Mobile is this magnifying lens that forces you to simplify and focus.”

Optimized check-out
Consumers are increasingly abandoning their online shopping carts, meaning that marketers need to think of creative and simple ways to make the check-out process as easy as possible.

Dell is an example of a brand that is missing the mark with its mobile check-out process, per the executive. The company’s mobile site includes a lengthy list of information that consumers must fill out.

With consumers making both small and big purchases on mobile, many brands can benefit from mobile commerce.

For instance, Weber Grills has a mobile site but does not let consumers buy products from it, which could be a missed opportunity for revenue.

On the other hand, Amazon’s Prime service lets consumers check-out in one click. Consumers that make the switch from being Amazon customers to Amazon Prime customers go from spending $400 a year to $900 a year. Additionally, Amazon Prime users spend 130 percent more.

Slimmed features
Reducing the effort and the amount of required text is the key to driving mobile commerce sales, per Mr. Wroblewski.  Information such as full name or additional phone numbers can be kept optional for users.

Letting consumers enter their phone number through a big keypad helps speed up the process of getting consumers to check-out quickly.

Additionally, when users enter their credit card information, check-out forms can detect which type of card is being used.

Eliminating checked boxes that require consumers to consent to their information can lead to eight to ten percent fewer errors in the check-out process as well.

Hiding features such as paying for gift cards keeps check-out forms short and more manageable for consumers to click through.

“Mobile is just a forcing function to help us get our designs right. Screens are small, input mechanisms are imprecise, we use them in all kinds of distracted environments,” Mr. Wroblewski said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York