james horne

The Mobile eCommerce Optimization Initiative is a Magento Community Initiative made possible through a collaboration between PayPal, HiConversion, and a community of Magento SIs from around the world including Balance Internet. The goal of the Initiative is to close the gap between mobile and desktop conversion performance and ultimately grow mCommerce revenue for merchants.

The team at Balance Internet were excited to attend the opening event at Magento Imagine and sit on the panel talking about the Mobile Optimisation Initiative.

The informal Q and A style hosted by Rob Long was great fun and whilst I contributed (hopefully) I also learnt a lot from Rob and the other global participating agencies.

The participants were Rob, myself and…

Matt Parkinson, Managing Director, Gene Commerce

Kevin Schneider, Director, Business Development, IWD Agency

Jenna Warren, VP of Special Projects, Creatuity

Panel Conversation

Images: Mobile Optimisation Initiative Panel, Magento Imagine 2019

We talked about PWA, Data, Social, Game of Thrones and many other topics. We also talked about the experiments we were all undertaking and I thought it worthwhile to share 5 of the findings so far. Most results so far point to removing distractions, simplifying design and the leads me to the old adage “less is more”.

1. Remove Wishlist

Remove Wishlist

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Wishlists can provide shoppers with a way to procrastinate on making a purchase decision. Removing the “add to wishlist” feature will reduce unnecessary distractions, encouraging shoppers to focus on the “add to cart” button and complete their purchase.

A recent study by the Nielsen Norman Group found that shoppers are often reluctant to use wishlists as they expect them to entail a high interaction cost (e.g. registration, account set up). Despite this, wishlists are increasing in popularity and are a common feature on many eCommerce sites.

This experiment removed the wishlist feature to reduce distraction and increase RPV and examines the impact of removing the wishlist feature from participating sites.

2. Suppress Product Level Breadcrumbs

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This part of the study is conducting a series of experiments to examine the revenue impact of altering the appearance of breadcrumb trails.

Most merchants implement breadcrumb trails on their websites. They are a standard convention to help shoppers sort product views by category, determine which category the product is from, and find their way back if they make a wrong turn in their search. But even trusted conventions like these should be tested and optimised.

The experiments in this area involve three separate experiments related to breadcrumbs:

  1. Suppressing the product name in the breadcrumb trail
  2. Simplifying the breadcrumb trail
  3. Removing the breadcrumbs altogether

Only the 1st of the experiments is currently showing a positive result, while the others appear to be driving home the importance of breadcrumbs. This result took me by surprise as it has delivered a 17% plus increase in RPV….. I certainly think it will vary by industry vertical and device type.

If a merchant’s navigation is effective, breadcrumbs become redundant — particularly when the user reaches the product page. The data from this experiment suggest that a product name that reloads the page is redundant. Hiding it helps reduce visual distractions and noise.

NOTE: If the product name is not visible above the fold on a product page, the product name breadcrumb may be the only indicator of the product the user is viewing. Be aware of this before removing the product name from the breadcrumb trail in your UI design.

3. Remove the “continue shopping” button for mobile users to optimize the mobile experience and remove distractions.

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So far in the study over 69% of mobile checkouts are seeing a modest lift in RPV when the “continue shopping” button is suppressed. These results suggest the “continue shopping” button is a visual distraction on mobile devices. Whilst the lift is not massive it’s worth considering.

4. Post Code Autofill

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Shoppers frequently make errors while keying or selecting city and state. Applying a widget that auto-completes the city, state and country fields when the postcode is entered, should improve the overall shopper experience.

Conventional wisdom says that reducing the number of keystrokes should drive more revenue. The Post Code Auto Fill Experiment reduces the amount of typing required during the payment process thereby creating a more enjoyable user experience and increasing the chances of a completed sale.

Postcode Autofill has had a positive impact across the board. Reduced typing leads to an increase in the chances of completing a sale. It doesn’t work for all, but in most cases it does. This functionality is absolutely worth trying.

5. Simplify the Cart Header

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The more distracted a shopper is during checkout, the less likely they are to complete their purchase. A Simplified Cart Header reduces the number of elements in the shopping cart header, thereby eliminating unnecessary distractions during checkout and increasing the likelihood of a completed sale.

All items not directly related to the checkout process or the continued shopping experience can be removed to create a simplified view. Typically, when shoppers reach the cart page, they either want a speedy checkout or a quick way to continue shopping. Simplifying the header can create the easiest path to both, and improve the overall shopping experience.

The study shows that simplifying the cart header can lead to a boost in RPV across all devices – not just mobile. Finding the perfect balance between simplicity and functionality requires adaptive testing and we definitely recommend trying it for yourself to find the best configuration for you.