Keep It Simple: 4 Ways to Reduce the Complexity of Your Mobile Shopping Cart

Your mobile shopper browses, finds, selects, begins checkout and… aborts.


What happened? You may never know in every specific occasion, however there are some common causes that can be addressed. Here are four tips for streamlining your mobile shopping cart experience to ensure your e-commerce cart abandonment rate stays as low as possible so you can convert more mobile carts to checkouts.

1. Reduce the number of steps.

Simply shrinking desktop site menus from big to small won’t cut it. Rethink the whole shopping cart optimization process, and think “less” at every step.

Aim for the fewest possible touches to complete a transaction.

Don’t assume that the checkout steps you use on the desktop will translate to a mobile experience. Best practices for an e-commerce checkout flow might look different across platforms; five steps on desktop may have to be three on mobile to ensure that a customer continues through to payment.

2. Never go back.

The desktop experience may require a shopper to go back to a product page to change color or size, or require other similar page-hopping behavior. But going backwards is a death-knell on mobile.

The customer needs to be able to adjust color, quantity, or size on the checkout page, within the cart itself.

You may end up with a single page of elements that load differently from the desktop site. But give mobile shoppers everything they need to move forward from where they are right now.

3. Provide shipping information sooner.

Your customer may abandon her cart when she gets to the shipping screen and finds shipping costs too high or shipping time to be too slow.

Here’s how to avoid this common driver of shopping cart abandonment. Use the GPS built into smartphones to estimate shipping costs and delivery times and give the customer that information earlier in the process so that the cart process is more straightforward. Or, offer the option to pick up at a local store.

4. Make payment dead-easy.

Inputting payment information is a key frustration in mobile checkout.

Apple has provided a bridge over this problem by allowing customers to take a snapshot of their credit card instead of manually inputting card numbers. Or, you might allow brand-loyal customers to store their credit card numbers on your site.

Be sure to provide multiple payment options.

More than a third of US online shoppers have PayPal accounts, and Mastercard and Visa have rolled out wallet solutions that are being adopted and simplify the payment process for the customer.


A successful mobile checkout is far more than just a “shrunk” or adjusted desktop checkout experience.

It often requires designing a completely revised checkout flow that takes advantage of mobile device features and more importantly, takes into account the much shorter attention span of mobile shoppers.

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