Mobile Commerce

Mobile Commerce Checkout: Critical Best Practices

Over 2 out of 3 shoppers abandon their online shopping carts. And on mobile, where conversion rates are 70% lower than on desktop, the situation is even more grim.

Over 2 out of 3 shoppers abandon their online shopping carts. And on mobile, where conversion rates are 70% lower than on desktop, the situation is even more grim. Retailers have improved their mobile commerce checkout since the early days of e-commerce, but they have a long way to go in meeting their mobile customers' expectations.


The good news is, improvements to mobile commerce checkout provide unparalleled opportunities for driving higher mobile conversions. At Moovweb, we paired the extensive research of leading research center on e-commerce usability, Baymard Institute with our own analysis and created a taxonomy of over 400 elements that span the entire mobile commerce checkout process. And we developed a list of critical best practices for mobile commerce checkout that companies can readily implement.


Messaging is critical to guide and reassure customers during mobile commerce checkout. Yet 92% of the largest U.S. e-commerce sites fail to have adequate messaging throughout checkout.
What should mobile commerce sites do?

  • Use clear, direct language to help customers understand what they need to input and why. For example, explain why you are requiring additional information such as date of birth or phone number. 61% of sites require a phone number without explaining why it’s required. Yet over 60% of on online shoppers are hesitant to share their phone numbers. A simple explanation that it’s for resolving issues with shipping or payment goes a long way to instilling trust.
  • Enhance form field labels with short descriptions that provide additional context such as, “Your security code: a 3 digit code found on the back of your card."
  • Avoid generic error messages such as “Not a valid US phone number" or simply "Invalid."  Instead,  commerce sites should explain the error.  And be sure to provide an example of a valid entry.
  • Avoid abbreviations such as “M.I.” and “QTY,” which require shoppers to pause for a moment and think about what they mean.


Consumers turn to mobile to get what they need in the moment. And often they're on their mobile devices while doing other things. In fact,

82% of smartphones are used while multi-tasking.

Moreover, mobile consumers are often being interrupted and switching between devices. 4 out of every 10 of e-commerce transactions in fact involve multiple devices.

To meet their customers' expectations, and drive higher checkout conversions, brands must provide experiences that match the mobile users’ contexts.

A few tips for delivering contextual, optimized mobile checkout experiences include:

  • Auto-detect as much information as possible. For example, auto-detect card type based on users' card numbers and auto-detect city and state based on their ZIP codes.
  • Provide input optimizations for keyboards.  Disable auto-correct for name fields. Provide numeric keyboards for phone and credit card information. Incredibly, 7 out of 10 of top mobile optimized e-commerce sites fall short in terms of these optimizations.
  • Auto-complete as often as possible. About 2/3 of e-commerce sites already use standard text auto-complete. But on mobile, where every tap you save a user provides an even better experience, it’s even more critical.
  • Provide a click-to-call feature for mobile users so they can quickly resolve any shipping, billing, or ordering issues.


1 in 4 shoppers abandon online shopping carts because the site's navigation is too complex. To minimize friction and decrease cart abandonment rates through better design and optimized navigation, follow these tips:

  • Ensure the font is legible. Make your default font size at least 14 pixels and provide adequate spacing between clickable elements - a minimum of 2x2 mm.
  • Be sure to offer a guest checkout option. 3 out of 10 users abandon their carts if they are asked to register up-front.
  • Make it easy for mobile users to keep track of where they are in the mobile checkout process. Ensure you label each step (for example, “Step 1 of 3”).
  • Clearly display costs throughout checkout, as 56% of online shoppers leave their shopping carts when they encounter unexpected costs.
  • Make sure you prominently display free shipping in your checkout. Nearly half (46% of users) abandon their shopping carts due to high shipping costs. And nearly 3/4 consider free shipping as critical to making a purchase.
  • Avoid using a coupon field; it prompts shoppers to coupon hunt. In fact, more than 25% of shoppers abandon their carts to look for coupons.  What should you do instead? Use a link with a title like “promo code” that shoppers can click.
  • Be sure to provide users with the option to continue shopping from the mobile checkout page.


A sense of trust and security is key for a great mobile checkout process. 17% of shoppers abandon their carts over concerns about payment security.

  • To foster a sense of trust worthiness, be sure to include credit card logos and site seals from anti-virus software brands like Norton.
  • Consider encapsulating certain fields to make them feel more secure. This is a simple step, but Baymard Institute found 89% of sites don’t encapsulate their credit card fields.
  • Reinforce users’ sense of security by adding a padlock icon.
  • Lastly, online shoppers can be made to feel more trust in the mobile checkout process by having one last chance to review what they ordered and ensure they entered everything correctly before they proceed with their order.


Knowing where in the mobile commerce checkout the mobile customers are dropping off is key to minimizing shopping cart abandonment. Field-level analytics to track in which fields customers are dropping off are the key. For example, mobile commerce sites should look for data insights on whether customers dropped off when filling out the name field, the first address field or the second address field.

Equally important is benchmarking to industry and peers. These statistics can be hard to come by, but it’s critical to do where possible.

Additionally, mobile commerce sites should utilize segmentation to aid customers and help them through the checkout flow. To do this, they must analyze user behavior by segment (e.g., traffic source, geography, device, returning vs. new) and tailor the mobile commerce checkout experience to each segment's needs. For example, if customers came to a commerce site via an ad promoting a sale, the promo code should be pre-filled for them at checkout.


Data-driven marketers have come to rely on A/B testing to drive better results. When testing your mobile commerce checkout, stick to these testing best practices:

  • Ensure you set up statistically significant tests. You should not call tests before reaching a 95% confidence interval or higher.
  • Be prepared for an A/B test to show no change or even a loss. Keep in mind that every test is an opportunity to learn about your users - and even negative test results can lead to insights.
  • Be sure to run your tests for at least 1-2 business cycles.
  • Avoid callubg your A/B tests too early. Determine the sample size in advance and run the experiment until the predetermined sample size has been reached and never before.
    Mobile commerce checkout can be significantly improved. As more brands see more and more of their site visits coming from mobile devices, many will invest in improving their mobile checkout. Applying these best practices to mobile checkouts via products like MoovCheckout will not only improve the customer experience, it will lead to higher conversions and increase the likelihood that customers will return time and again.

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