After reading about how to enhance the ROI of the shopping cart process, I became interested in the mobile shopping experience. While I am well versed in many forms of e-commerce, I never bought anything using my phone, despite the fact that most of my online time is spent on that device. I’m the ideal consumer for a mobile experience.
The majority of my online shopping happens through Amazon so I decided to compare experience between using their mobile enhanced web site on their iPhone shopping app. The differences between the two experiences are immediately striking. Check out these screens:
Hold on…more to come…
The two screen above combine to to make the home page of Amazon’s web-optimized site. While the menus do feel mobile friendly, the total experience is clumsy when compared to this:
The mobile app, as expected, takes advantage of all the available tools. Amazon maximizes space by placing account and cart information in the bottom nav bar and promoting three primary areas of business: Gold Box deals, customer recommendations and the Kindle App. You don’ t have to move finger to scroll to any other hidden information. From this point (I’m already logged in the screen shots), customers may want to login. While the mobile web site appears to be a stripped down version actual site, the app login screen is similar but it has one subtle but big difference:
A secure login button. One of the mental obstacles preventing me from doing mobile shopping was an absurd fear it wasn’t as secure as regular online shopping. Yes, there are different issues but nothing egregious. Amazon anticipated my concern and tried to alleviate it with that yellow Sign In button and security assurances. It worked. The web-optimized site did not have this, which left me feeling more confident when I used the app.
After searching for a few items, I dropped them into my shopping cart. The app utilized the phone in a few neat ways here. First, it displayed my item count in the cart in the lower nav bar. And whenever I dropped something into my cart, the phone vibrated to confirm the action. Again, these are just neat enhancements to the user experience. The shopping cart on the web site version felt boring compared to that.
Here’s the shopping cart screen on the web site.
Notice how drab and complicated it looks compared to the app shopping cart.
The app version clearly displays the multiple items in the cart. There aren’t extra buttons or choices to make to reach the next step. You can adjust the quantity on both screens but one feels much more user friendly than the other. After clicking on the checkout screen, you are taken here:
The app’s order review screen combines or hides a few of the multiple screens from the web site’s checkout process. The shipping address field is highlight in red for you take action. You can select the Gift Option under each item individually, which is a nice feature too.
I didn’t finish the entire checkout process because, honestly, I wasn’t buying any books today. I walked away completely impressed with the Amazon app though. Based on my experience, I’ll look for retailer app to do my mobile shopping before I ever attempt to use their standard web site.
There is one other cool feature that the mobile-optimized web site didn’t have or was well hidden. Check this out:
A barcode scanner!
When you enter the search menu, you can choose to enter search criteria or scan a barcode from an item. For comparison shoppers, this is perfect. Just scan any item in a bricks & mortar store for a Amazon price comparison. You may just find some significant savings online.