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Ignore the mobile user experience at your peril

Article by DPO PayGate

Many entrepreneurs are relying on digital commerce as the primary means to reach their customers. However, ignoring the importance of a slick mobile experience is business suicide if you have an online offering.

PayGate reached out to one of its mobile development specialists to share some insights. Eckardt Kasselman, founder of UX design company Defijn, discusses the importance of a responsive mobile shopping experience to attract an increasingly discerning local e-commerce customer base.

Mobile is important – especially for South African businesses

Mobile e-commerce (m-commerce) is growing at an extraordinary rate. 53.9% of all US online sales will be taking place on mobile devices by 2021, compared to a 44.7% share for 2019. In Africa, most consumers rely on their mobile phones to connect to the internet. In August 2018, 62% of the African population accessed the internet from their mobile phones, with 34.95% of web traffic coming from desktops.

Given these stats, it’s clearly vital to ensure your company has optimised its mobile experience. Here are some of the most common mistakes to be aware of:

Common mistakes in mobile delivery

1. Bad design decisions

The improvement in website platform sophistication over the last five years is staggering. There are now platforms that allow you to simply drag and drop designs into templates or even copy websites, duplicating the existing site you like and replacing the images and copy with your own.

For those selling products online, choosing a website platform that is optimised across channels is critical if they hope to reach their end-users. Shopping platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce for WordPress, and Magento have fully responsive themes and mobile shopping experiences. Where things can go horribly wrong, however, is when companies make poorly thought through assumptions about what end-users want and implement bad design decisions on top of these frameworks which can negatively affect the user experience.

2. Intrusive upselling

Another mistake is intrusive upselling techniques. In e-commerce, cleverly crafted upselling can significantly impact a company’s revenue as customers are enticed to buy additional goods before they checkout.

However, many customers see badly constructed upselling campaigns as a means to trick them into buying goods they don’t want or need. To avoid this, companies need to be very sure that they have the personalisation data spot-on or the intrusiveness of upselling can be a big turnoff. What’s more, poorly timed upselling, such as at the checkout stage can result in a very negative last experience for a customer.

3. Dark user experiences

User experience or UX is the secret sauce of the e-commerce experience and this is even more so when shopping on a mobile phone. Great UX is something every reputable developer strives for. But, just like the world of online security, not everyone is coding for good.

Dark user experiences include patterns that are used by some site designers to mislead or trick the user into performing transactions of buying services they don’t need. This is often seen when additional services like seat bookings or room preferences are pre-selected by default and users are required to uncheck a selection box in order to avoid paying for an add-on they may not want.

Frustrating your user with a bad UX design will result in cart abandonment and lost sales. A shopping experience should not be seen as a data mining exercise. Most customers want to find what they are looking for, pay and leave. Asking unnecessary questions when they sign up or, worse still, at the checkout stage can ruin the entire experience.

Simple, fast, fabulous

The average mobile landing page load speed is 22 seconds. However research also indicates that 48% of shoppers are likely to drop off slow sites if the first page does not load within three seconds.

With this in mind, we believe the mobile web has several advantages over apps. With Javascript technologies advancing at a rapid speed, progressive web apps will surpass native mobile app installations going forward, especially in emerging markets. It is cheaper to develop, more easily updated, and the initial payload that the user needs to download is much smaller.

Entrepreneurs who want to succeed online need to make sure that the entire experience from landing on the site, to finding the right information or product, to the checkout process is streamlined.   We have noticed that local customers tend to be slightly more forgiving – largely because our internet population wants to support local businesses and will exercise more patience than the more technically sophisticated markets. But this does not mean that companies should ignore UX. Far from it. A great user experience can ensure a dramatic uplift in sales and give businesses the advantage they need in a market that is becoming more competitive by the day. To achieve this they should ensure they choose development and payment partners that will walk by their side toward online excellence.

DPO PayGate is a proud Partner of the NSBC.