Mobile e-commerce is rapidly becoming a must have for any Internet Retailer. The smartphone experience is so challenging though that UX designers may end up revolting at executives that think simply creating a responsive version of their catalog is the best thing to do. Hint: it’s NOT!
There are many things that you can do to make a better mobile e-commerce experience, but its good to start with knowing who is using your app. All mobile e-commerce users can be categorized into Swipers and Searchers.
The smartphone was developed with an ingenious way of navigating information. You can swipe and tap you way through windows, apps, games, messages and web pages. It is an extremely fast way of moving around, but as a user experience developer, you better get this right or you’ll be alienating over half of your audience. Getting swiping and tapping done correctly requires designing an interface that makes sense for these users. The direction of the swipe, the size of tappable regions, font size, readability and orientation all matter when it comes to making a great mobile experience, otherwise, you may have swipers not swiping.
So if you have an online store with either a mobile website or a mobile app, you’ll want it to be extremely intuitive for this audience.
- Design with consistent but high contrast colors.
- Consider portions of the screen that can slide and not just the entire screen.
- Easily tappable areas of the screen.
- Extremely obvious conversion actions.
- Upfront pricing
- Make it easy to find items on sale and special pricing along with any incentives.
The second largest large portion of your users are going to be searchers. No matter what you do, search is going to be their primary method of navigation. In any large mobile e-commerce store, a great search engine is going to be critical for success. Results must also be extremely clean and easily swiped because these people are most likely swipers as well. Enable them to swipe to see more details on each item found in your store. Search results on mobile devices should provide enough information for quick purchases. Enable this type of user to quickly find what they want and make the buy. They are more interested in speed to get to what they want, so don’t slow them down.
- Though the size of the search box is kind of meaningless since most people are using a virtual keyboard, make it large enough to be easily tappable to bring up that keyboard and to see what they type in.
- If you can, do what Google does and predict what they are typing to speed up their ability to get to what they want.
- Make the search box above where the virtual keyboard is so that they can see what they are typing.