4 Ways to Boost Sales by Making Online Shopping Faster

Speed is an essential ingredient of customer engagement.

Speed has been a signal for SEO and SEM from Google on desktop since 2010, and they announced in July of this year that it would soon be a signal in mobile as well. Since then, e-commerce businesses are giving more thought to their site’s mobile performance. But many are focusing solely on simple, synthetic performance measures, such as page-load times, which give little insight into a shopper’s real experience.

Page-load metrics lack details about how many pages customers need to load in order to complete their journey, whether the page scrolls smoothly when it loads, or how long it takes before the “buy” button becomes interactive and usable to mobile customers.

For example, you can reduce how long it takes mobile shoppers to purchase by as much as two minutes by streamlining your site’s checkout with native payment methods, but the page-load times would remain the same. When you do this, the quality of the shopper’s experience dramatically improves and your conversion rates will prove it.

How to Minimize Shoppers’ Journey Times

There are four main ways you can decrease purchase times and increase conversion rates:

Add instant buying buttons

Add instant buying buttons to your Product Listing Pages and accept native web-based payments, such as Payment Request API or ApplePay.

“Buy now” buttons work well because it makes it easier to buy impulsively, which 80 percent of Americans across multiple generations admit doing in the past year.

Automatically log in users

Requiring a login slows down online purchases and increases the likelihood of customers abandoning a purchase, which 11% say they’ve done because they didn’t want to set up an account. And 45% reported leaving a site after forgetting their login information.

Get rid of your sign-in form and automatically log in customers using the Credential Management API, which lets users sign in with one tap. The API remembers the account used and signs users back in after a session expires, it even simplifies social sign-ins through federated authentication providers such as Facebook or Google.

Focus on checkout flow

The experts in mobile commerce user experience at Baymard Institute have discovered that the rate of shopping cart abandonment is about 68%, costing retailers $40.2 million annually. Of the 88% of shoppers who say they have negative mobile-shopping experiences, 26% say checkout is the problem.

Mobile customer-engagement platforms can optimize checkout flow with minimal changes to your back end. This includes turning multi-step checkouts into a single step — which has been shown to outperform multistep checkouts by 21.8%  — or getting rid of payment fields altogether by enabling instant web payment.

Go with a progressive app

Eliminate all page loads from your site with a progressive web app, which streams directly to a customer’s device without the need to download it and provides better buying experiences. E-commerce retailer PureFormulas saw a 23% per visit boost in revenue after implementing a progressive mobile checkout solution.

Websites built with this technology are much faster and made for mobile, which makes mobile purchases effortless. Progressive web apps also include push notifications and quick pathways to native apps. Previously, retailers had to choose between a mobile website and an app, but now you can have both.

Alibaba, a large Chinese retailer with a market cap of more than $200 billion, recently converted its entire website — including its checkout flow — to progressive web app technology. This has boosted its mobile site’s speed and engagement, leading to a 76% increase in conversions across browsers.

Retailers like Alibaba are realizing that speed matters. Customers want an easy and quick checkout process, and businesses that rework their e-commerce sites to accommodate this need will see their revenues grow.

Peter McLachlan is the co-founder and chief product officer at Mobify

One response to “4 Ways to Boost Sales by Making Online Shopping Faster

  1. Implementing or not implementing a responsive design website should fall under the category “it depends”. Not every website needs to be responsive and each project should look at metrics before making a decisions one way or another. Apps are nice and have a purpose, but maintenance of apps will kill you in the end.

    Server logs and analytics should indicate the type of browsers and platforms visiting your site. The last project was an even split of desktop to mobile visitors with over 90% of all visitors visiting surfing a small group of pages. So why build two different sites for a handful of pages.

    If your client is planning to post URLs on billboards, transit and transit stops, then a mobile first option should be considered.

    RWD is really about building for ubiquity. We do not know the platforms or devices that will be used six months from now. But we do know that they will most likely have a web browser or browser based services. Responsive, progressive enhancement and adaptive design are all part of the evolution of delivering content.

    In the end, users are only looking for content. So realistically, we should be looking at a content first strategy. Give the users what they want and let the content be the same independent of platform. If you don’t, users will get the content they want using clipping services such as Instapaper or Readability.

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