M-Commerce Apps Require Flawless User Experiences

Zeb Winzenried
Reading time: minutes

Beyond sales, mobile commerce can enhance customer loyalty; thorough testing can get you there

Successful companies know that m-commerce — the buying and selling of goods and services using mobile phones and tablets — is more than enabling a smooth transaction. It’s an inroad to customers’ hearts and minds, and it’s gaining momentum every day.

According to Oberlo, nearly three out of every four dollars spent on online purchases today is done through a mobile device, and mobile commerce (m-commerce) sales are projected to reach $3.56 trillion in 2021. M-commerce share figures are on the rise as well. The share of mobile ecommerce sales in total ecommerce sales is up 39.1 percent from its 52.4 percent market share in 2016 to 72.9 percent market currently. It’s clear; if your customers use mobile to do business with you, you need to get the m-commerce app experience right.

M-commerce apps impact many industries

Any organization — be it in retail, travel and hospitality, banking, media, utilities — that enables customers to pay for goods or services online needs to deliver seamless m-commerce app experiences. In-app purchases and account management tools need to accommodate customers on mobile devices, especially when serving millennials and Gen Z — digital natives who expect to be able to do everything on their phones. These groups not only make up a significant share of the market, but are also more likely to share their grievances in online forums when digital experiences aren’t what they expect.

Adding to the imperative to get things right are social media and super apps, raising customer expectations. They’re integrating buying experiences to deliver more convenience to mobile users, like enabling them to easily use saved payment methods and purchase through familiar apps and interfaces.

Key considerations for m-commerce apps

When it comes to m-commerce, there are a few simple objectives: transactions must function correctly, and transactions must be easy to complete. However, there are many considerations and mechanicals that must go right to meet these seemingly simple goals. Here are a few criteria to consider for m-commerce apps and infrastructure:

  • Can customers successfully buy my product through an omnichannel experience — my website, phone app, or other digital storefront?

  • Can customers easily get refunds/credit for returns?

  • Can users add a new payment method?

  • Can customers in new markets successfully purchase using payment instruments used in that market?

  • Are earned rewards (points/credits) being calculated correctly?

  • Can rewards for a purchase be easily redeemed?

  • When considering a new payment gateway, how do we ensure we can accept payments?

  • Given new industry specs, government regulations/standards, can we still accept payments?

Testing for m-commerce is particularly challenging

Consider all your users, their locations (and cultural norms/expectations), device options, operating systems, and global networks. M-commerce apps must function well across all these. Given the enormous number of variables, without actual user testing, it’s highly likely your users will encounter issues that impact their overall customer journey and UX.

I was recently on a call where a Brazilian customer was seeing high abandonment rates. Payment testing revealed that every Brazilian debit card was being declined. As Brazil is a cash-based economy and doesn’t rely on credit, this customer was losing critical revenue. The customer was able to take this information to its processor, which had inadvertently blocked all debit bank identification number (BIN) ranges from purchasing. This could have been avoided.

Real-world, in-the-wild testing gives targeted insights to customer m-commerce app experiences

At Applause, we test multiple dimensions: functional, payment, UX, customer journey. Does it work? Do they like it? Can they easily pay for it? These are the questions at the heart of our worldwide testing community. To answer those questions, we custom curate a select team of testers that meet even the most complex of testing requirements at any given moment in time. Not only does this ensure the best UX for your m-commerce initiative, but it frees up your internal resources to focus on other higher-value initiatives.

M-commerce apps are increasingly becoming part of the global UX and economy. Make sure your organization is making it easy for customers to pay via mobile. Read this case study to learn how Applause helped Western Union ensure payments worked correctly — even on mobile devices.

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