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How Brands Can Drive Impulse Buys in Mobile Shopping Carts

One of the biggest conundrums that retailers regularly face is how to combat mobile shopping cart abandonment. The proliferation of smartphones has made it easy for consumers to browse products on their commutes to work, lunch breaks, and other times of distraction, but ominously long checkout experiences can often stop a purchase in its tracks.

In addition to having mobile-optimized and streamlined checkout experiences, retailers can also catapult their digital revenue by persuading shoppers to add last-minute items into their shopping carts.

Here are three best practices for driving impulse buys on mobile sites or apps.

Addable coupons. Instead of making shoppers sift through a mobile site, app, or third-party couponing service, such as RetailMeNot or Coupon Sherpa, brands should make their promotional codes readily available and addable on each product page. Last year, Victoria’s Secret revamped its mobile site to include visible promotional codes that can be instantly added to an individual’s shopping cart with the tap of a button. For instance, site visitors can tap on a promotional code for a free fragrance rollerball with a $50 purchase, and have that deal automatically applied during checkout. This means that consumers no longer have to memorize promo codes and manually type them into small fields during the payment portion of the checkout experience. It also offers the retailer a chance to convince shoppers to add more items into their shopping carts in hopes of receiving the freebie.

Suggested items. One of the most practical ways of driving last-minute purchases is to feature frequently bought together items on the checkout page. Amazon is arguably the most famous purveyor of this tactic. If shoppers spot a low-priced item that complements the product/s currently in their cart, the ease of pressing the “Add to Cart” button is likely enough to cinch the sale. The key is to showcase relevant and low-priced products that do not prompt much thought about how they may affect the total.

Tiered discounts. Online retailer employs a tiered discount strategy in a bid to persuade shoppers to hit higher purchasing thresholds. This means that individuals will receive lower pricing per item for the more items they buy. If mobile users spot a tiered discount section on their checkout page, there’s a high likelihood that they’ll be convinced to add a few more items into their cart—especially if their total is close to a threshold and if there are suggested items displayed nearby.

Ultimately, the most imperative part of combatting shopping cart abandonment on mobile devices is having a streamlined, single-page, intuitive checkout experience. If users feel overwhelmed by having to manually type personal information into small fields or wade through multiple security layers, the sale is as good as lost. Once the checkout page has been completely optimized to a user-friendly interface, retailers should begin implementing several – or all – of these best practices for driving last-minute add-ons to their carts. After all, if making a purchase is as easy as the tap of a button, so is indulging in a little extra.

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Alex Samuely, Contributor

Alex is a marketing and communications professional with extensive experience in analyzing digital and mobile marketing trends. She has also covered brand-oriented mobile strategies spanning the retail, travel, financial services, and food and beverage industries.

Topics: mobile shopping

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