So what do shoppers actually want from a mobile experience?

Apr 23, 2013 | Uncategorized

Derek Eccleston (Commercial Director at eDigitalResearch plc) shared a really good post today on econsultancy which gave real reassurance, backing up my thoughts about mCommerce and what users actually want.

Every six months the guys at eDigitalResearch ask a group of shoppers to assess a selection of the top rated retail apps and mobile sites on the market, telling us what they like and what they don’t like throughout the mobile shopping customer journey.

The Benchmark results

Since eDigitalResearch started to benchmark the mobile market, back in Sept 2010, results have shown that time and time again that shoppers are starting to take a shine to some aspects of their journey more than others.

Features of mCommerce sites that rate highest are often the smaller touches that make a real difference to the overall mobile customer journey.

The key areas where brands could make small differences and help improve their customer satisfaction include.


First impressions count and retailers need to develop simple and functional, yet attractive homepages – mobile sites should include:

  • Navigational links
  • Clear search options,
  • as well as Promotional Images to draw shoppers in.

Interflora’s homepage went down extremely well with the group of shoppers recently and mainly because they provide just that.

It also promotes that customer service number big and bold at the top of both their mobile site and mobile app offering customers opportunity to choose a different route to purchase should they so wish.

FULL page view of Interfloras homepage              

Search functions

A mobile site needs a search function. It’s a fundamental feature. However, the better optimised a keyword search function is, the easier it will be for potential customers to find what they’re looking for and the bigger the chance they might actually go on and purchase that item.

Predictive text features are now expected by the majority of shoppers, especially those using a mobile. Having to type in the whole of a product name or category is sometimes just too fiddly and time consuming – the results show that users are likely to get fed up and just leave the site.

Sites should also make the effort to correct misspellings. Typos are common nature in mobile use and creating a solution that combats this issue when shopping will help to increase user satisfaction.


Since eDigitalResearch started the eChannel Benchmark study just over one year ago, it’s no surprise that Amazon continues to do well in the purchase section of the customer journey.

Their 1-click purchases are quick, simple and seamless; everything a mobile shopper is looking for when they go to buy a product on the move.

The biggest issue shoppers have come across when they complete a purchase, however, are long, complicated and often unnecessary registration forms. While, as a new shopper, some details are essential, some are really not needed.

The best option retailers can offer new customers is to complete their details needed for a purchase (so address, card details and an email address) and give them the ability to use these details to register at a later date when they’re in front of a desktop or tablet PC.

Product pages

Research results show time and time again that product pages are the biggest bug bear with mobile shoppers and the one area that brands really need to look at improving.

Grocers in particular suffer in this area by not offering basic and expected features such as product descriptions or even storage information.

Retailers are faced with the challenge of condensing their traditional online pages enough so that they don’t overwhelm users but still include enough to allow users to make an informed purchases decision.

Debenhams have repeatedly been rated well in this area. The site shows a clear understanding of their customers, offering a condensed form of what is available on the traditional online site, including a fair amount of alternative images, product information and customer reviews neatly presented in an easy to read page.

Debenhams product image     Debenhams customer reviews

What’s important to remember here is that none of these features, perhaps other than predictive text and barcode scanners, require a great amount of technical input. Instead they are small features that have been introduced to mobile sites and apps over the years, all with the idea of making the mobile customer experience quicker, bigger and better.

It’s also important to remember to listen to customers; what they love, what they don’t love and how you can make their experience better.

Mobile users have been driving the mobile shopping revolution from the outset (mobile shopping started long before the first retail apps were around) and therefore developers shouldn’t ignore them when creating new features; there’s not much to be gained from a whizzy technical feature that doesn’t actually add anything to the table and improve the customer experience.

So how does the Zen Cart mCommerce Compare?

eDigitalResearch’s research showed that not only do first impressions count but the following three factors need to be taken onboard

  • Navigational links
  • Clear search options,
  • as well as Promotional Images to draw shoppers in.

The good news is that the Zen Cart mCommerce module does just that! Let’s take a visual look across the site

JSWeb Zen Cart mCommerce - HomePage

JSWeb Zen Cart mCommerce - HomePage

JSWeb Zen Cart mCommerce - HomePage Categories

JSWeb Zen Cart mCommerce - HomePage Categories

JSWeb Zen Cart mCommerce - Page Listing

JSWeb Zen Cart mCommerce - Page Listing

JSWeb Zen Cart mCommerce - DROP DOWN Menu

JSWeb Zen Cart mCommerce - DROP DOWN Menu which appears on each and every page!

JSWeb Zen Cart mCommerce - Product Page
JSWeb Zen Cart mCommerce – Product Page

So the summary is the new Zen Cart mCommerce module (for ZC 1.5.1) shapes up quite nicely to meet customer mCommerce demand.  Check it out at: http://www.jsweb.co.uk/zen-cart-plugins/essentials/zen-cart-mcommerce

» About Me

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