A Checkout System for Your Mobile Site - dummies

A Checkout System for Your Mobile Site

If everything goes well, you ultimately guide your shoppers on your mobile website to the checkout: the place where the key action — money moving out of shoppers’ accounts and into yours — happens. As you might expect, this is also where most of the second thoughts (or cart abandonment) happen. If you’ve designed your site well, you will overcome your customer’s initial reservation to make a purchase and close the sale.

Your checkout must be as smooth and frictionless as possible; studies show that every 15 seconds of delay increase the chances of cart abandonment by as much as 25 percent. That is, if a whole minute passes for a user on an iPhone (who moves around and has a short attention span) to get a response after clicking the Pay Now button, the odds of him just chucking the whole process approach 100 percent.

If your customers don’t see what’s happening, their fear overcomes their desire. You must not only use Internet-based security measures that use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, but also prominently reassure your customers that their financial information won’t get stolen or misused. Nobody wants to risk virtual credit card theft just to buy a vintage concert T-shirt.

A good checkout system needs to

  • Total the cost of all the items in the potential customer’s shopping cart, including any tax and shipping costs.

  • Allow the customer to choose shipping options. Customers like shipping options — FedEx, delivery vans, in-store pickup, friendly kayakers, whatever.

  • Send the customer tracking information and a confirmation e-mail. Pay attention to that confirmation e-mail because it’s a great way to entice customers to come back and shop again, rate their transaction efficiency, or receive discounts by referring their friends.

Do some research. Go to your competitor’s online stores and go through the buying process. Go to big online sites that have invested millions in perfecting the shopping experience, such as Amazon, eBay, Dell, and so on, and ask yourself questions every step of the way.

Do you like the way the product’s pictures are displayed and how the ad copy is written? What can you do better? What do you need to include? Take careful notes. If you start out armed with a clear vision of what you want and how you want to do it, you have a much better chance of coming out with a store that you like.


Amazon’s shopping cart, shown, is a good model. This cart has both a large image of the item and a link to more images. The price is prominently displayed with a link to immediately check out and pay. And, at the bottom of the cart is a suggestion to try to sell the customer other items that complement selection. All the links are clear and easily understood, and the navigation at the bottom of the screen is unobtrusive.