Optimizing Your Checkout Flow: Create Device-Specific Tests

Join our webinar June 30 for a more in-depth look at this topic.

Open your favorite eCommerce site on your laptop or desktop computer, then add an item to your cart. Now, open the same site on your smartphone. Navigate to the same product, and add it to your cart once again. Pay attention to the process. Did you encounter more steps on mobile? Did the process take longer? Did you see different information on each device? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have already identified the issue: mobile and desktop checkout flows aren’t the same. And because checkout flows differ not only from mobile to desktop, but also on varying screen sizes, you should be testing each experience separately, prioritizing those your prospects and customers see the most. Because, from the length of your form to your required fields to your site’s ease of use for inputting data, many variables play a role in whether or not someone will convert from a window shopper to a customer.

“When a person is in front of a keyboard, forms are simple and easy,” said Blue Acorn’s Director of Optimization Jay Atkinson. “On mobile, though, your customers have virtual keyboards, smaller screen sizes, and can’t see the full form. Therefore, it can be cumbersome for them to fill in the necessary data—they’ll often get fatigued and abandon the process.”

Physical Versus Virtual Keyboards

In addition to your site’s checkout flow, data input varies widely from mobile to desktop. It’s easy for shoppers typing on a full-size, physical keyboard to input their information. What’s more, with desktop browsers, many of their fields are saved. This means that autofill will pull in their information automatically, making the process even easier for shoppers. Checkout is a lot harder on the tiny smartphone keyboard.

You can always test shortcuts for reducing data input for new accounts, such as using Chrome’s browser, which connects user data across each platform, or importing details from social media accounts. 

But this begs the question: Do users need to create an account? Sure, it’s easier to send them marketing messages and retain their carts across platforms if they do, but it may also introduce friction (and lead to cart abandonment). 

Form Length And Validation

Whether your ecommerce site has an option for guest checkouts or requires the creation of an account, there are forms involved. On desktop, the process is pretty simple, especially with saved form fields; however, the same process can easily become cumbersome if you aren’t paying attention and testing how your customers are reacting. 

Moreover, if shoppers run into form validation errors on your site and their information is lost, you’ll likely lose them. Your testing from desktop to mobile for data input should once again focus on simplicity. 

According to Atkinson, the way users perceive how to use a form and what it will result in affects their decision to complete it. In other words, What’s in it for them? On mobile, you can simplify the process down to requesting an email address. On the backend, you can generate a user account and send the shopper a temporary password. 

With optimization tests, results are typically not considered best practices. What works for someone else, even with proven numbers, may have completely different results for your prospects and customers, so be sure to test your own user experience.

 

Update

Big thank you to Blue Acorn's Director of Optimization, Jay Atkinson for helping us pull off a fantastic webinar. For all those who attended, we hope you enjoyed the actionable insights that you can now apply to your optimization strategy. If you didn't get a chance to join us, click here to watch the webinar recording! Enjoy.