Moovweb, a San Francisco-based mobile Web specialist, is tackling one of the most frustrating issues faced by ecommerce companies: abandoned shopping carts.
In the rush to make their sites mobile-friendly, many online shopkeepers neglect a vital part of the buying process, according to Haresh Kumar, vice president of marketing at Moovweb. The mobile checkout process mimics their desktop counterparts, and that's a big mistake.
People shopping on smartphones and tablets simply don't have time for long, multi-step checkout procedures. "On mobile, the attention span is eight seconds," Kumar told Small Business Computing. "With so many other distractions—notifications, tweets, Facebook updates" vying for a mobile shopper's time, the longer it takes to checkout, the more likely it is that the online store owner will lose the sale.
On the desktop, ecommerce shops have "eight steps to convert," said Kumar. Once nestled into a cozy chair, with keyboard and mouse in hand, people are more willing to complete lengthy checkout forms and click through various confirmation and authorization screens.
In contrast, people who use Apple iPhones, Android tablets, and other small-screen devices—like smartwatches and potentially in-car, connected electronics—typically won't commit to a task that takes more than a few taps to complete. Better to abandon a cart than to miss the next bus stop or risk arriving to a meeting late.
To solve this mobile ecommerce dilemma, Moovweb has launched a new offering called MoovCheckout for online retailers of all sizes.
Optimized Mobile Shopping Carts
Citing statistics from Google, Kumar noted that "more than 50 percent of their searches are mobile." And where the search giant goes, the industry follows. Mobile's impact on Internet traffic is so profound that Google now uses mobile-friendliness as a factor in a website's rankings.
"Google is the ultimate benchmark," said Kumar. So it stands to reason that while searching for products, mobile shoppers eventually end up filling up their shopping carts. Unfortunately, they're often faced with a less than intuitive way to seal the deal.
Indeed, "68 percent of carts are abandoned today," Kumar said. To improve the odds of a successful sale, MoovCheckout combines the best practices from ecommerce experts with analytics to help businesses and marketers provide engaging and quick checkout procedures.
Mobile Ecommerce Checkout: A Two-pronged Approach
MoovCheckout is made of two components: Catalyst and Business Manager.
Catalyst focuses solely on optimizing the mobile checkout flow to increase conversion rates and to reduce cart abandonment rate. Kumar noted that "a typical checkout flow contains 400 or more elements—from tapping 'checkout' to finalizing the sale by hitting the 'buy now button." Catalyst instantly transforms checkout flows, applying mobile checkout best practices based on research by Baymard Institute, a leading research center on eCommerce usability.
Layered on top of a retailer's existing ecommerce software, Catalyst supports all the major ecommerce platforms, including Magento and Demandware—to name a couple said Kumar.
The company claims that Moovweb's platform carefully maps the new, streamlined checkout process to the corresponding fields and functions of the underlying ecommerce system. This, Kumar said, generates an optimized experience in just a day's time (compared to the usual weeks-long conversion and migration projects ) complete with time-saving auto-detection and auto-formatting capabilities.
"It's visually simple and easy to use," said Kumar. "It has a direct impact on the bottom line, just [by implementing] the user-experience upgrade." The process can improve conversion rates by up to 25 percent, he claimed, adding that fewer abandoned shopping carts benefit everyone involved.
MoovCheckout calculates what it charges customers using conversion-based pricing, Kumar said.
Keeping Shopping Carts on Track
The Business Manager dashboard lets small businesses examine every step of the checkout process, and determine exactly when shoppers loosen their grip on a shopping cart. Online shopkeepers "can track each field," said Kumar.
They can even determine "how much time each person spends on a field," which can reveal potential stumbling blocks and ultimately help business owners to address them. Business Manager also supports A/B testing, allowing shop owners to see the impact of their optimizations and promotional efforts. The tool also supports audience segmentation, providing custom checkout experiences for shoppers that meet certain criteria, like visiting a site as a result of an AdWords campaign.
Fundamentally, MoovCheckout exists to bring shopping carts into the mobile era. "We take the friction out of the conversion," said Kumar. "Shoppers clutching their smartphones and tablets are ready to buy now. Why make it more difficult for them?"
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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