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This is not a tablet – the real mobile shopping experience

By · 27 December, 2013

Apps are like parties. A poorly designed app is like a party where some of the guests have drunk too much; they’re falling down and breaking everything.

In the banquet hall of the spacious tablet screen you have enough room to avoid these characters. You have better navigational and input tools with which to give them the slip. You can just about ignore them whilst still completing your task and making your purchase.

But take that same app and place it in the cramped basement room of the compact smartphone screen and all of a sudden the drunks are a whole lot more bothersome. They can come in many shapes and sizes, but three of the most notorious troublemakers are:

  • Inconsistency and affordance. For apps to be successful with smartphone users they have to be intuitive and easy to use. The user has to be able to get a sense of the app’s functionality immediately and they need to be able to complete their task whilst keeping one eye on the path ahead of them. ( reports that “only 3% of people who have downloaded an app use it after 30 days.” They conclude that this is a result of the majority of iPhone apps are over-complicated and not user-friendly, comparing the situation to that of PC software a couple of decades ago.)
  • Loading time. Be it your chosen platform or the graphic you just couldn’t bear to leave out, if any aspect of you app slows down the user’s journey then the chances are they will not make it through to the other side of the checkout. (According to Aberdeen group, for every one second delay in loading time conversions will decrease by 7%)
  • Feedback and error messages. If a smartphone user enters incorrect information – which is likely, they’re on the move, unlike the majority of tablet users – and your platform doesn’t inform them of this until it has already made them wait 50-odd seconds whilst it makes its server calls, and even then doesn’t give a clear message of what went wrong, the user will likely abandon the transaction or process – this is a principle reason behind the staggering 66% cart abandonment rate for mobile apps.

If an app is a party, the user is a guest. The modern smartphone user is readily convinced that there is always a better party down the road and they are ready to ditch your app at the first failing of their expectations. (An EPI server study found that 54% of UK consumers “will leave a mobile site if they experience any difficulties.)

Smartphone shopping is a unique experience in the world of commerce, tablets more properly belonging to the desktop domain. The smartphone user has completely different concerns to the tablet user. The smartphone user is often i) on the move, ii) is looking for immediate fulfillment of desires and needs, and iii) has higher expectations of what m-commerce can do for them, they’re increasingly expecting innovative commerce and social solutions.

The smartphone user has a smaller screen and keyboard, they have an unstable internet connection, they are looking for immediate gratification, and they are looking to do or buy something right now, all of this as they are walking down the street. How is your business model or app design helping them achieve these goals?

About Judopay · Judopay simplifies in-app payments, enable frictionless checkouts and intelligently prevents fraud for leading companies globally. Our payments and mobile experts help guide businesses and their development partners to create best in class apps to make paying faster, easier and more secure. Founded by serial financial technology entrepreneurs in 2012, Judopay is backed by leading venture investors and supported by banking and card scheme partners to offer in-app payments that are simple, frictionless and protected.

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