Among US online adults who use a smartphone, 54% have used their smartphone to research products and services prior to purchasing, and 59% have used smartphones to make their final purchases. As part of the 2022 Forrester Digital Experience Review™ research to see how retailers meet and deliver against consumer expectations, we have published five supporting reports that outline best practices in five key aspects of the customer shopping journey on retail mobile sites. (Note: This research looks at mobile sites but is also applicable to websites.) The links to the full report series are included below, but here’s a sneak peek of what we covered in each report:

  1. Search and browsability. Once on a retailer’s site, customers generally find products in one of two ways: through a search box or by navigating through the site’s taxonomy. Best practices we identified include search that expedites the process with suggested keywords, auto complete, and the ability to filter by various attributes.
  2. Content and merchandising. Retail mobile sites have the challenge of including enough information to help consumers make a purchase decision — while not overcrowding the small smartphone screen. Good practices here include review sections that allow customers to filter and sort attributes, product recommendations with “add to cart” buttons that don’t bring the customer to a new page, and collapsible banners on the product detail page to hide sections as you scroll.
  3. Omnichannel and fulfillment. Customers expect retailers to provide inventory visibility and fulfillment information early in their shopping journey. The best retailers: include the ability to filter their search results on the product landing page by inventory availability; highlight product-specific estimated delivery/pickup dates throughout the site; and offer various fulfillment options (e.g., pickup in store, ship to home, ship to store, etc.).
  4. Checkout and payments. According to Forrester’s 2022 data, 33% of US online adults who don’t use their smartphone to purchase say it’s because “it’s easier to make a purchase on a computer than on a smartphone.” A simplified checkout is even more important for mobile sites: The best sites keep the checkout to one page load, expedite the process with autofill options, and allow digital payment methods (e.g., Apple Pay).
  5. Customer setup and retention. At checkout, retailers often prompt customers to create an account even though just 32% are willing to share their information for better shopping experiences. Retailers that promote their loyalty programs while also allowing for guest checkout scored best here. Another criterion in this section was customer support — on mobile sites, this is usually difficult to find. A best practice is to include a chat bubble on the top of the site navigation menu or via a pop-out window, rather than burying the contact info on a generic help page.

For more information on best practices for retail mobile sites, check out the full reports listed below, or get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more about how Forrester can help you assess and improve your digital experience.