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M-Commerce Usability Report

Exploring the mobile shopping experience

After a year of user testing and research, the most extensive usability study on mobile e-commerce shopping is ready.

We’ve tested 18 of the biggest mobile e-commerce sites and boiled all the research findings down to 147 actionable guidelines that will help you venture into the new realm of mobile e-commerce.

M-Commerce Usability Report
“The guidelines are extremely valuable and helpful.”

Vitaly Friedman, Editor in Chief of Smashing Magazine

  1. 147 research-based design guidelines divided into 26 mobile design concerns.
  2. 94 user quotes illustrating how users think when shopping on mobile sites.
  3. 705 images from the test sessions for detailed insights and design inspiration.
  4. 5 industry guides for Electronics, Apparel & Decor, Bookings, Flowers & Gifts, and Mass Merchants.
  5. 403 pages optimized for print exploring the mobile shopping experience.
  6. A convenient checklist handy for implementation and reference.

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“It is immensely valuable having a thorough, independent study to help validate my work and in particular, help facilitate buy-off from stakeholders. Baymard has quickly become one of my most trusted resources for the UX/UI field.”

Jason Greene, UX Design Lead at Clickbank

Mobile: Unchartered Territory

Mobile e-commerce is on everyone’s lips due to its immense potential, displaying a 45% yearly growth rate hitting an estimated $298 billion in 2015 (and set to reach $415 billion in 2016 according to Goldman Sachs). It’s also a whole new platform with new interaction methods and usage contexts which introduce a whole host of limitations and pitfalls to watch out for when designing and running a mobile commerce site. With little best practices yet established, mobile e-commerce is, to a large degree, still unchartered territory when it comes to actual implementation.

Despite testing the mobile sites of some of the largest e-commerce players in the world, the test subjects encountered a staggering 1,000+ usability-related issues during the test sessions. These usability issues have been analyzed and distilled into 147 design guidelines on how to best design and structure a mobile e-commerce site, as well as documenting how end-users understand mobile sites in a shopping context.

Tested mobile e-commerce sites: 1-800-Flowers, Amazon, Avis, Best Buy, Buy.com, Coastal.com, Enterprise.com, Fandango, Foot Locker, FTD, GAP, H&M, Macy’s, REI, Southwest Airlines, Toy’R’Us, United Airlines, Walmart.

“Contains some very good points and interesting findings.”

Jan Jursa, Curator of IATV and MobX conference

Table of contents

  1. Introduction 7 pages
  2. Guideline categories:
    1. Understanding Mobile 80 pages 28 guidelines on full site, native app, and mobile site, intelligent features, hit areas, readability, etc.
    2. Product Finding 101 pages 35 guidelines on navigation, product browsing, search, filtering, sorting, etc.
    3. Product Information 36 pages 17 guidelines on product page design, product images, descriptions, specs, compatibility, etc.
    4. Checkout Process 56 pages 21 guidelines on cart, shipping, account, mobile payments, reviewing information, etc.
    5. Data Input 85 pages 35 guidelines on form layout, input functionality, field descriptions and labels, touch keyboards, etc.
    6. Implementation 24 pages 11 guidelines on the technical implementation of your site, specifically performance and error recovery
  3. Industry-specific checklists:
    1. Computers & Electronics 12 guidelines
    2. Apparel & Home Decoration 9 guidelines
    3. Aviation, Tickets & Rentals 12 guidelines
    4. Flowers & Gifts 4 guidelines
    5. Mass Merchants 19 guidelines
  4. Checklist for all 147 guidelines 11 pages
  5. Methodology, authors, etc. 5 pages
“I have found this M-Commerce Report and the E-Commerce Report very useful, thank you!”

Josh Shaw, Web Manager at Keurig / Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Compared to other industry reports

eConsultancy M-Commerce Best Practice Baymard Institute M-Commerce Usability Forrester Mobile Retail Forecast
Pages: 24 pages 403 pages 11 pages
Guidelines: - 147 guidelines 7 takeaways
Source: Author’s thoughts User testing Forecast model
Review tool: No Yes, interactive auditing tool No
Price: $300 $250 $499
Refund: No Yes, 14 days full refund Yes, 1 day full refund
“Baymard's real-user research is invaluable for ecommerce marketers. It leaves no stone unturned, and with the guideline checklists provided, you'll be well equipped to optimize your mobile presence.”

Linda Bustos, Director of Ecommerce Research at Elastic Path

Get your report now

Get your copy of this report instantly delivered as a PDF file for $250, and start improving your mobile e-commerce site today at just $1.7 per actionable guideline.

Buy the Report

Refund policy: We stand by our research and offer you a full 14 days “no questions asked” refund. If you’re not satisfied, simply e-mail us at christian@baymard.com for a full refund.

Report details

  • Title: M-Commerce Usability
  • Authors: Jamie Appleseed, Christian Holst
  • ISBN: 978-87-994365-1-4
  • Published: March 2013
  • Delivery: Instant PDF-download (DRM-free), 138mb
  • Content: 403 pages, 147 guidelines

Report license

The report and Baymard Pro account are intended for internal use - for you and your team.

You and your team are allowed to both print and digitally distribute the report to employees within your own organization (i.e. within the same legal entity), as long as it is not accessible to anyone outside it.

We trust our customers, so all reports we sell are unrestricted – this means that no DRM or other restrictive technologies are used.


Research is conducted and published by Baymard Institute, and written by its two founders:

  • Christian Holst – User experience engineer with a master's degree from the Technical University of Denmark. He has worked with designing user experiences in both the hearing aid and the credit card industry before co-founding Baymard Institute 2009.
  • Jamie Appleseed – Has a decade's worth of work experience designing and coding websites, with a focus on user experience. He has worked as lead developer on numerous web projects at web agency Spoiled Milk before co-founding Baymard Institute in 2009.

Baymard Institute’s research is used by:


“I have found the M-Commerce and E-Commerce reports very useful, thank you! References: Baymard Research


“Report analyzing mCommerce usability 2013 w/ guidelines and tips. Standing on the shoulders of giants. http://t.co/SEUgMM0UCC #ecommerce” References: Mobile E-Commerce Research

“I can not tell you how much help your benchmark studies have been for our company, e-commerce and UX teams. We have used and continue to use these reports for baseline benchmarks as we build test protocols or eye tracking scripts etc in lab. References: Baymard Research


“Comprehensive study on mobile e-commerce shopping from the good folks at @Baymard is out. http://t.co/ibVtKy6tqo” References: Mobile E-Commerce Research

“Awesome work. Just got to the end of the guidelines doc. Really good stuff and I look forward to wireframing up our site now. References: Mobile E-Commerce Research

“These reports are fabulous. The content is exactly what our team has been looking for, and so much more! Extremely helpful, thank you! References: Baymard Research

“Thank you. This was an excellent piece of work: professional, thorough, and actionable for the team. We're very happy with the work Baymard has done for us so far, and I hope we'll have the chance to work together again on future projects. References: Baymard Research


“Useful study to dive into mobile #ecommerce https://t.co/yU40gKmujK” References: Mobile E-Commerce Research

“The guidelines are extremely valuable and helpful. References: Mobile E-Commerce Research

“Contains some very good points and interesting findings. References: Mobile E-Commerce Research

“It is immensely valuable having a thorough, independent study to help validate my work and in particular, help facilitate buy-off from stakeholders. Baymard has quickly become one of my most trusted resources for the UX/UI field. References: Baymard Research

“Great report! Very insightful.” References: Mobile E-Commerce Research


“Useful report from @KiehnHolst @Baymard on fundamentals of M-Commerce Usability http://t.co/IJjWqZ4hQy via @smashingmag” References: Mobile E-Commerce Research

“Baymard’s real-user research is invaluable for ecommerce marketers. It leaves no stone unturned, and with the guideline checklists provided, you’ll be well equipped to optimize your mobile presence. References: Mobile E-Commerce Research


“Useful #usability report for mobile shopping experience #ux - http://t.co/IJW4oH1i2e” References: Mobile E-Commerce Research


“Baymard Insitute release their M-Commerce Usability Report. Worth getting if it's as good as their E-Commerce one. http://t.co/xewjV4vHgm” References: Mobile E-Commerce Research

“I love the information that you guys provide and have bought a couple of reports. Love them. References: Baymard Research


“'M-Commerce Usability: Exploring the Mobile Shopping Experience 2013 - Articles - Baymard Institute' good read http://t.co/sI2gyHPMnv” References: Mobile E-Commerce Research

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