Consider the following hypothetical situation: one morning, on your rush to get out to the door, you forget to check the weather. Of course, halfway between your house and the bus stop, it begins to pour. As you sit on the bus, drenched, you decide it’s time to buy yourself an umbrella.
You pull out your phone, open your Amazon app, search for “umbrella,” and click on the first result. After a brief inspection, you decide it’s the one for you, so you click “buy now” to finish up and checkout. Nowadays, the combination of Amazon accounts and Apple’s TouchID verification makes this process faster than ever. Because your shipping and payment information is stored with your Amazon account, and your identity can be verified via fingerprint scanning on an iPhone, users only have to place their thumb over the home button and the transaction goes through. The whole process can take less than a minute, making the shopping experience incredibly efficient and easy for customers.
What can we learn from this new customer experience, and how can ecommerce store owners improve their sites to replicate the ease of this shopping experience for their own customers? Here are our thoughts, after some consideration:
- Think about the user experience, start to finish. The reason this new shopping experience is so profound is because it is remarkably efficient and user-friendly. Think: you open your app, type in “u-m-b-r,” and are quickly able to choose from a list of suggested products. After browsing, checkout is a breeze, and you can continue on your morning commute without needing to spend more time running this virtual errand.
- Create simple, intuitive, and fast mobile shopping experiences. In our example, and as studies have shown, mobile shoppers are laser focused and are looking to buy a specific item – not browse. For this reason, users want mobile shopping to be quick and painless. This means fast (and accurate) search, a pared down product page, and a speedy checkout.
- Encourage users to create accounts. As we hinted at, part of what made this checkout process so easy was the fact that your shipping and payment information was already stored in your account. Creating accounts for your site’s user will help achieve the same effect, and at the same time can help create repeat customers. A great way to incentivize account creation is by offering discounts to new sign-ups.