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Keys to a successful ecommerce mobile app

Mobile shopping continues to grow and will soon reach over 200 billion dollars a year in sales. Smartphones are becoming incredibly popular and the majority of smartphone users prefer mobile apps to using mobile ecommerce websites. So, mobile ecommerce apps have become important business tools. However, there are certain usability targets that must be reached if any ecommerce application is to be truly successful.
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First and foremost, the application must be easy to use on a rather small screen. It should present information in a clean, uncluttered and easy to understand way. The home screen should present only the information that the customer needs to know and a way for the customer to get around.  It could, for example, present popular items or special sales along with a search and navigation function.

It’s important to remember that screen size limits what can be displayed. Items that may be clustered on a single page of an ecommerce website might need separate pages or at least be sorted by category with only the list of categories appearing on the home page.

Consistency is another important factor. If a menu appears on the left side of the screen, then it should remain on the left side throughout. It’s also important to keep text to a minimum. Long winded descriptions or sales pitches that might be okay on a website, are just downright annoying on a smartphone. It may be difficult to describe a product in only a few words, but it’s a challenge that should be met.

Checkout must also be simplified. Customers should be allowed to register through social networks or checkout as guests. Use autocomplete wherever feasible and keep the number of steps required to make a purchase to a minimum. And use a progress bar to keep customers informed of how far along in the process they are.

Keep the Add to Cart button prominently displayed and use as few images as possible. There are two reasons to use images only when absolutely necessary. The first is that small screens don’t supply much detail and the second, and perhaps more important, is that people using mobile apps expect them to load quickly. Hi-res images slow load time. If images of products must be displayed then use a zoom function and list as few products as possible per page.

A consistent, easy to use application that keeps customer information secure while making the shopping experience as pleasant as possible will help build confidence while improving customer relations and enhancing customer loyalty.


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