Mobile commerce, or m-commerce, has been growing at breakneck speeds lately, so it might come as a surprise to many, seeing how much room for improvement there still is.  This Euro IT Group report says that by the end of this year, 70 percent of global e-commerce transactions will be in mobile, up from 40 percent just two years ago.

On the other hand, ReadyCloud’s shopping cart abandonment statistics show that mobile checkout screen abandonment rates in 2016 were 81 percent.

Two years ago, it stood at a stomach-churning 97 percent. Progress, yes, but at unsatisfactory speeds. For some, these figures are a problem. For others, it’s an opportunity. So, what can mobile pros do about it, and how can they turn the current state of m-commerce into an opportunity for themselves?

Easy in theory. Offer what others are lacking and your mobile checkout screen abandonment rates will drop way below the average line, consequently improving your bottom line. So what are others lacking? Some issues are already being covered, extensively, so we need to move past what the majority of the community is focusing on and take the next step. Read on.


I swear, if I hear the word ‘optimize’ one more time…

According to many, the biggest issue with m-commerce has been, and remains, mobile optimization. Faster apps, clearer CTAs, easier navigation on a smaller screen, those are all the usual suspects that you’ll find with a simple Google search. But it’s much more than that. Gosh, if I had a penny for every time someone talked about mobile optimization as means of reducing mobile shopping cart abandonment…

Getting people to proceed once they hit the mobile checkout screen is a much more compelling task than just making sure the app loads quickly, or making sure the ‘purchase’ button is in a visible spot.

Let’s take a look at the (new) biggest reasons for shopping cart abandonment:

mobile checkout screen 1
Image Credit:


  • Unexpected shipping costs – 28 percent
  •         Needing an account – 23 percent
  •         Just browsing – 16 percent
  •         Card security issues – 13 percent
  •         Complicated checkout – 12 percent
  •         Couldn’t find voucher – 8 percent


Err.. faster apps? No. Better navigation? No. What happened to the usual suspects? They obviously changed. Sure, two years ago mobile pros might have not paid that much attention to their mobile site/app’s speed or user interface. Today, it’s a whole different ball game. Guided by these stats, here’s what you can do in 2017, to reduce mobile checkout screen abandonment rates:


1. Offer free shipping

Free shipping will earn more conversions. It’s a fact, proven time and time, and time again. In most cases, it will only cost a few dollars, but getting new customers in return potentially means much higher earnings. It is considered a huge selling point and an important motivation for customers to shop with a specific app, against a competitor’s one.

The important thing here to note is that the idea of free shipping absolutely needs to be emphasized. It needs to be clearly visible, as early in the shopping journey as possible. Many of the popular retailers like Crabtree & Evelynn, or Zappos make sure to have this message conveyed as early, and as clearly as possible.

mobile checkout screen 2
Image Credit: Mobify


2. Communicate the final price at every step

The abovementioned UMT’s research (as well as many, many others) claims a significant percentage of people abandon the mobile checkout screen because they were simply browsing and never intended to do any shopping in the first place.

Many will also tell you that there really isn’t much you can do about that – that’s just how human nature is. But this percentage is significant, and if it mingles with other cart abandonment statistics, it might distort the real picture.

Instead, offering visitors the chance to browse, and even see the final price at every step of their journey without actually adding items to the cart, could be of help. It won’t motivate visitors to make more purchases, but at least the mobile cart abandonment statistics will be a more realistic representation of how things really stand.

And don’t worry – if someone sees something they really like, adding the item to the cart is (or at least, should be) just a tap away.


3. Consider the guest checkout option

Depending on the business in question, guest checkouts have their pros and cons.

For one-time customers, it saves time. It makes sure they don’t receive promotional emails, which they probably wouldn’t want in the first place. It makes sure no data is stored, which is an important facet nowadays.

It’s proven to reduce mobile checkout screen abandonment rates, lowers interaction costs and encourages users to return.

mobile checkout screen 3
Image Credit: Lemonstand

On the other hand, however, returning customers will have to enter their information all over again, so say goodbye to timesaving. There will be no user reviews or feedback, and tracking becomes virtually impossible.

But given the fact that we’re only discussing cart abandonment rates, there is no denying the fact that enabling guest checkout reduces them. Weigh in on the pros and cons before making your decision. If you already have lots of registered users and receive plenty of feedback, maybe adding such a feature would help you in the long run.

mobile checkout screen 4
Image Credit: Baymard


4. Find your problems, before they find you

Many app pros wait for conversion rate problems to come to them, instead of proactively looking for issues themselves. The biggest error in this approach is that by the time they realize their app has a problem, the damage has already been done and remedying it becomes a much harder, longer endeavor.

One may argue that it’s easier said than done, given that quantitative mobile analytics alone can’t provide enough insights, and that reviews on the app stores usually lack crucial information on how to actually address an issue.

However, with the aid of qualitative analytics tools, like user recordings, app pros can tap into the entire conversion funnel to see exactly how and why users are (or are not) converting.

With user session recordings, app pros can see if users are abandoning carts once shipping costs are presented to them, or if they’re abandoning it at the moment when they’re asked to create an account.

mobile checkout screen appsee
Image Credit: Appsee


The rules have changed

Despite the clear progress that has been made in the past two years, mobile commerce still has plenty of room for improvement. That gives app pros a huge opportunity for growth, as there are a couple of facets to implement which can separate them from the rest and provide their customers that extra value that will have them coming back for more.

It is important to stress that the ‘usual suspects’, like the app’s speed, user interface or calls to action have all been accounted for. Yet nowadays, the biggest reasons for mobile shopping cart abandonment are unexpected shipping costs and the requirement for an account. Make sure nip those in the bud, monitor your screen proactively, and watch those rates drop like flies.

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