Mobile shopping is becoming increasingly popular: challenges for shop owners

Online shopping, especially from mobile devices, has become more popular not only in recent weeks. Quickly shopping for something from your smartphone, still looking for furniture on your tablet or comparing products, these are all examples that many consumers have long since fleshed out. So-called mobile shopping is increasing the number of users for shop operators, but it presents them with new challenges. Because mobile devices require different criteria for the shop than the usual desktop PC. If you want to assert yourself against your competition in this area, you have to convince the customers. And how does it work? This article introduces some aspects.

Mobile shopping
Mobile shopping is becoming increasingly popular – how can an online shop create a really good mobile user experience? (Image_ @ Bruno Cervera /

Think responsiveness correctly

Most shop systems and websites have already been converted to responsive design in the past. This happens partly automatically by the provider, whereby it is often suggested that the shop operator hardly has any work with the changeover. But it is not enough to simply design the shop responsively so that it can be easily read or maneuvered on the smartphone or tablet. At this point, every shop owner should think about their own experiences. Who hasn’t come through the shop where the pictures were too big or not clickable as soon as a smartphone was in play? Or in which the product description became the well-known »Wall of Text«?

Fortunately, smartphone manufacturers have enlarged the screens of the latest generations of smartphones, like that Offers for the Samsung Galaxy on Verivox demonstrate. In terms of design, this makes it a little easier to create an appealing presentation on mobile devices so that they are also suitable for mobile shopping.

The following aspects are particularly important:

  • Menu navigation: It must be clear and, above all, usable. Some shops have huge menus, which may be clear, but are too large to be adapted to a display. Again, the customer finds nothing – or accidentally clicks the menu when he wants to scroll to the bottom.
  • Category pages: These should also be clearly laid out. It is important to think of poor cellular connections at this point. Category pages on which the individual categories are only indicated by pictures are bad for slow connections.
  • Accessible: Shops should be designed to be barrier-free anyway, so that visually impaired people can use them. In the mobile area, however, accessibility also has the benefit of helping those who cannot reach a fast internet connection if necessary. If descriptive tags are used instead of pictures, visually impaired people as well as people with restricted internet can navigate in the shop.

However, the ordering process is almost more important. First-time customers in particular are discouraged if the input fields can hardly be navigated, for example because they cannot be enlarged or because the page hangs when they are filled out.

Optimize search function

To a certain extent, mobile users are spoiled. You know that the smartphone or tablet offers suggestions for entries. In large shops it has long been common for the search function to show suggestions based on the input you have started or to actively help with the search if the user does not quite know what the product he is looking for is called. Shop operators can also get an advantage using a suggest function:

  • What’s this? Everyone knows the Suggest function, because it is nothing more than a suggestion function. Just as Google presents suitable search suggestions for keywords, the serves Suggest function in shops the product search. The function starts with a single letter, whereby the popularity of the products is of course always taken into account.
  • Why does that make sense? Of course, an optimized search function serves the convenience of the customers. However, with mobile shopping it must always be taken into account that customers do not necessarily shop comfortably on the couch, but sit on the bus, walk through the streets and are simply not immobile. It can quickly become uncomfortable to write longer words on touchscreens. A “machine” that practically reduces the input is helpful.

When shopping online, there is a lot going on about the feel-good factor and the comfort of customers. But the psychological effect should not be neglected either, because a search function that “recognizes” the customer’s wishes suggests that the customer is known and welcome. This inevitably creates trust.

App for existing customers

The big shops are leading the way: Instead of just relying on a mobile website, the companies provide suitable apps. Just the app is a solid option for existing customersto shop for what you want with just a few clicks. The advantages:

  • deals: In the app, existing customers can be offered a new user experience including exclusive offers.
  • Simple: Shopping is getting easier. Users only need to store their user data in the app once and can now shop with just a few clicks. In addition, the app is always included so that customers carry the “department store in their pocket”.
  • opportunities: Shop operators can also use the app to target customers. This can work via notifications that bring the right offers to the user via push message on the smartphone.

Such an app must of course be properly programmed and as error-free as possible. It should also be kept as up to date as the actual shop. Apps for shops are primarily for existing customers because they tend to generate less new customers. However, these can be targeted with an app of the sense of the shop. Quite a few consumers switch to an app before the first purchase if they are advised of the possibility in the mobile shop.

The integration of convenient payment methods is very important. PayPal, mobile payment service providers and bank accounts should be able to be integrated into the app without having to be selected again and again. Forms must also be kept as simple as possible, whereby it makes sense that customers only have to enter their data once and this is accessed with every subsequent order.

Mobile shopping
Apps have the function of retaining regular customers and presenting them with a special shopping experience. (Image_ @ Sara Kurfeß /

Don’t underestimate mobile shopping

Shop operators should switch the shop to the mobile experience as early as possible. The majority of customers actually browse from their smartphones and the first impression is now crucial for the purchase. Offering your own app also makes sense and is particularly important for loyal customers. Since Internet behavior will continue to shift to the mobile sector in the next few years, the effort is worth every effort.