July 7, 2010, 2:34 PM

Speedy checkout absolutely key to mobile commerce

Force a shopper to enter too much info and you may lose him.

The recent story on PayPal beta testing a mobile version of its Express Checkout service underscores just how important it is to have a very speedy checkout process in place on a mobile commerce site or a mobile app. Speed is fundamental to the mobile web: People aren’t leisurely browsing on their PC, they’re trying to accomplish something on their phone. And they want to accomplish their task fast.

With Mobile Express Checkout, when a shopper gets to checkout on a retailer’s mobile site, she selects PayPal and is sent to a PayPal page where she enters her user name and password and selects buy, triggering her default shipping and billing information to be used by the retailer’s m-commerce site. That’s fast. And that’s what m-commerce checkout needs to be.

Believe it or not, there are faster methods. Amazon.com enables a customer to register his phone with the retailer and then associate the phone number with the customer’s Amazon account, where default billing and shipping information is kept. On Amazon’s m-commerce site and mobile app pages, once registered, all a customer need do is touch the buy button and they’re done. That’s called 1-click checkout and is the ultimate checkout experience in mobile. In fact, there’s at least one technology provider, Billing Revolution, that specializes in enabling 1-click checkout for m-commerce sites.

So remember when building or redesigning m-commerce sites and apps that if you want to avoid cart abandonment and greatly boost conversion, make sure your checkout process is faster than a speeding bullet. For if a competitor enables customers to simply sign in to their existing account and select Buy and you have shoppers entering every piece of billing and shipping information manually, you’re in danger of losing customers, who may go to that competitor to complete their order on the go.

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