Research Topic

Mobile E-Commerce UX

How do you design a user-friendly shopping experience for a 5-6 inch screen?

Mobile traffic has soared in recent years and now often constitute 50% of all traffic on many e-commerce sites. However, it’s not uncommon for mobile e-commerce sites to still have a significantly poorer conversion rate than their desktop counterpart – in some cases converting less than half as many visitors into customers.

At Baymard we’d conducted the worlds most comprehensive research study of mobile e-comemrce UX - spanning more than 20,000 hours only testing mobile user behavior. This mobile usability study examines how the touch interface, the small screen, and user’s mobile behavior introduce a whole host of pitfalls to watch out for when designing and running a mobile e-commerce site.

Despite testing the mobile sites of 50+ of the largest e-commerce players in the world, the test subjects encountered a staggering 3,600+ mobile-related usability issues during the test sessions. These usability issues have been analyzed and distilled into 280+ mobile UX guidelines on how to best design and structure a high-performing mobile e-commerce site, as well as documenting how end-users perceive and interact with mobile sites in a shopping context.

This page provides you an overview of our research specific to Mobile E-commerce UX. All of this research is available as part of Baymard Premium.


The Current Mobile E-Commerce UX Performance

Based on the findings from the qualitative usability research study we’ve also benchmarked the full mobile user experience of 60 of the largest US and European mobile sites. This provides you with 9,000+ worst- and best-practice mobile UX examples, and 12,300+ mobile UX performance scores.

The UX benchmark of the 60 major mobile e-commerce sites provides a clear picture of the general state of mobile e-commerce performance, and identifies common design flaws as well as strategic oversights and opportunities.

Benchmark UX Performances
Poor
Mediocre
Acceptable
Decent
Good

Mobile E-Commerce

205 Guidelines

Mobile Homepage

8 Guidelines

Main Navigation & Categories

21 Guidelines

Main Navigation

6 Guidelines

Category Taxonomy

10 Guidelines

Category Pages

5 Guidelines

Mobile On-Site Search

23 Guidelines

Autocomplete

7 Guidelines

Query Types

8 Guidelines

Design & Logic

8 Guidelines

Product List

43 Guidelines

Mobile Product List Layout & Features

18 Guidelines

Mobile Filtering

7 Guidelines

Mobile List Item Content

18 Guidelines

Mobile Product Pages

19 Guidelines

Mobile Checkout

47 Guidelines

Layout & Features

2 Guidelines

Shopping Cart

4 Guidelines

Account Selection & Creation

7 Guidelines

User Info

7 Guidelines

Shipping & Store Pickup

6 Guidelines

Payment

12 Guidelines

Order Review & Confirmation

9 Guidelines

Mobile Forms

25 Guidelines

Form Fields

10 Guidelines

Field Validation

8 Guidelines

Input Optimization

7 Guidelines

Mobile Site-Wide Features & Elements

19 Guidelines

60 Major E-Commerce Sites
What’s This?

When looking closer at the average site’s mobile usability performance, we see a generally poor state of affairs. Notice how around half of all sites are performing downright poorly within all four themes, constituting a mobile shopping experience where users have great difficulties in finding, evaluating, and purchasing products – if able to at all. This observation aligns well with IBM’s report on mobile versus desktop e-commerce, documenting the average desktop conversion rate to be approximately twice as high as the mobile site conversion rate.

Mobile Product Descriptions, Specs, & Images is the only area where a high number of sites perform good. For the topics of Homepage Navigation & Search, Product Page Layout, Cart, Checkout Information, and Form Field Usability, only relatively few sites can be considered “decent”. “Decent” here corresponds to an experience where most users are able to complete the purchase, but the experience and process towards that purchase is filled with detours, misunderstandings, and various annoyances.

Some of the overall poor and mediocre performance is simply due to mobile and touch platforms still being relatively new territory – compared to the two decades old desktop website. With most e-commerce sites still being somewhat in the “exploration stages” of mobile UX – as in; it is still being determined what mobile design patterns consistently works well and what doesn’t. Furthermore, we’ve also observed several mobile patterns being highly popular with designers and developers but completely breaking user behavior and expectations. It’s not just a new platform; there’s a lot of malpractice being popularized.

Lastly, and most importantly, the mobile platform is truly difficult to design for – the lack of screen real estate causes a dramatic loss of page overview for users. As a result, most of the best-performing solutions and patterns, including those identified in this study, are, in the end, still a compromise. They are the best attainable results given the severe limitations of the mobile platform.

Explore the current mobile UX performance in our:

Explore UX Benchmark


678 Categorized Mobile Design Examples

FREE RESEARCH CONTENT

Explore design patterns across 678 page examples of mobile designs and features from leading e-commerce sites, all annotated and organized into 17 different page types. This is a great way to get inspiration for your own mobile design, and to get a feel for emerging trends in Mobile e-commerce .

Homepage
57 Examples

Navigation Menu
139 Examples

Category Page
35 Examples

Product List
57 Examples

Filtering Options
30 Examples

Search Field
60 Examples

Search Autocomplete
56 Examples

Search Results
59 Examples

Product Page
57 Examples

Cart
57 Examples

Shipping Address
59 Examples

Shipping Method
64 Examples

Billing Address
9 Examples

Payment Method
62 Examples

Review Order
39 Examples

Order Confirmation
58 Examples

Browse all design examples



13 Research Reports on Mobile UX

PAID RESEARCH CONTENT

All 134 checkout research findings are available as part of Baymard Premium, and are divided into the following 17 topics (611 pages of research findings in total):

29 × Mobile E-Commerce Topics

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Homepage

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Homepage

10 Guidelines, 61 Pages

How to design a high performing mobile homepage, the opportunities it can provide to both new and repeat mobile users, homepage structure, carousels, personalization, promotions, etc.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Main Navigation

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Main Navigation

6 Guidelines, 41 Pages

How to design the main mobile navigation, incl. the visual hierarchy, the levels of nesting, how the mobile nav. needs to differ from desktop, courtesy navigation, etc.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Category Taxonomy

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Category Taxonomy

10 Guidelines, 72 Pages

The structural foundation of a mobile site’s product categories, including mobile information architecture, catalog breadth, and category naming.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Category Pages

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Category Pages

5 Guidelines, 44 Pages

How Mobile Category Pages can guide users toward better-defined categories and products, how to use inspirational paths, featured products, and curated content.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Search: Autocomplete

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Search: Autocomplete

7 Guidelines, 63 Pages

How the mobile autocomplete (aka ‘predictive search’) should be designed, the types of suggestions it should make, how it should align and differ to the desktop design, and more.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Search: Query Types

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Search: Query Types

9 Guidelines, 83 Pages

Understand the 10 different types of search queries that users typically submit on mobile e-commerce sites, the nuances of how users really search, and how to best support it.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Search: Design & Logic

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Search: Design & Logic

14 Guidelines, 92 Pages

The mobile search results logic and mobile search designs that perform the best with users, mobile ‘no results’ pages, field design, search submit, search iteration flows, etc.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Product List Layout & Features

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Product List Layout & Features

17 Guidelines, 119 Pages

Creating a balanced product list experience within the confines of a mobile screen, incl. how to design hit areas, information to include in list items, ‘Load More’ buttons, indicating product variations, etc.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile List Item Content

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile List Item Content

18 Guidelines, 134 Pages

How information to include in Mobile List Items, formatting and displaying info, what product thumbnails to display and how to design them, making products easy to compare, etc.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Filtering: Interface & Layout

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Filtering: Interface & Layout

8 Guidelines, 0 Pages

This topic covers how to ensure users can find the mobile filtering interface, how to design the interface to make it easier to locate filter types and options of interest, and how the process of applying filters differs from the desktop process.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Filtering: Available Filters

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Filtering: Available Filters

11 Guidelines, 122 Pages

This topic covers which filtering types users need to narrow down product lists to a manageable selection, including filtering by price, user ratings, compatibility, themes, ‘New Arrivals’, ‘Sales’ or ‘Deals’, and more.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Product Pages

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Product Pages

9 Guidelines, 103 Pages

Mobile product page UX, including the optimal layout that addresses users’ lack of page overview, how to best design product page features and content, incl. image gallery, user reviews, descriptions, spec sheets, etc.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Product Pages: User Reviews

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Product Pages: User Reviews

18 Guidelines, 147 Pages

How to ensure that the user reviews section of product pages leverages the power of ratings and reviews, and allows users to get an accurate and quick impression of others’ assessments of products.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Product Pages: Product Images

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Product Pages: Product Images

19 Guidelines, 121 Pages

How mobile users rely on images on the product page, the 7 different product image types users generally need, the amount of images needed, and how large sites can approach some of the image sourcing.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Product Pages: Product Variations

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Product Pages: Product Variations

8 Guidelines, 20 Pages

Products that come in multiple variations have a unique set of requirements for how variations are technically handled by the site.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Product Pages: Product Descriptions

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Product Pages: Product Descriptions

7 Guidelines, 20 Pages

Users need the product description to draw conclusions about the ultimate suitability of a product, even in cases where their primary purchasing decision was based on product images and user reviews.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Product Pages: Cross-Sells & Cross-Navigation

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Product Pages: Cross-Sells & Cross-Navigation

11 Guidelines, 20 Pages

The vital role of cross-sells-sells and cross-navigation in users’ overall success at locating desired products, including cross-sell design, placement, and logic, and cross-navigation elements like breadcrumbs, recently viewed, parent category links, etc.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Checkout: Shopping Cart

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Checkout: Shopping Cart

5 Guidelines, 40 Pages

The mobile shopping cart page, incl. mobile cart design, quantity and save features, estimating order total, displaying fees, etc.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Checkout: Account Selection & Creation

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Checkout: Account Selection & Creation

7 Guidelines, 37 Pages

How to best optimize guest-checkout for mobile devices, incl. account sign-in and password fields, along with account createion. signing up for an account.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Checkout: Gifting Flow & Features

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Checkout: Gifting Flow & Features

5 Guidelines, 24 Pages

How the checkout flow and fields need to change when users gift-mark items, where and how users should be able to gift-mark items, and how the actual gifting features needs to be presented to avoid issues.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Checkout: User Info

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Checkout: User Info

13 Guidelines, 63 Pages

How to best handle the form fields for all personal user data on mobile, incl. privacy concerns, addresses, international addresses, phone fields, auto-detection techniques, etc.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Checkout: Payment

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Checkout: Payment

14 Guidelines, 70 Pages

The payment methods interface, how to display 3rd party payment methods, the many nuances of creating high-performing credit card form field on mobile, and more.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Checkout: Shipping & Store Pickup

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Checkout: Shipping & Store Pickup

9 Guidelines, 52 Pages

The shipping and store-pickup designs that perform the best on mobile, including displaying and describing shipping costs and speed, how to display store pickup, etc.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Checkout: Order Review & Confirmation

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Checkout: Order Review & Confirmation

9 Guidelines, 58 Pages

Mobile order review steps and confirmation pages, incl. how users review their order info, how they can best edit it, along with what to include on order confirmations.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Checkout: Layout and Features

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Checkout: Layout and Features

8 Guidelines, 20 Pages

All layouts and features that are used throughout the mobile checkout flow, including load indicators, primary buttons, the overall checkout design, etc.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Forms: Form Fields

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Forms: Form Fields

11 Guidelines, 56 Pages

How mobile form field nuances can either aid or hinder mobile users’ checkout completion, in particular how form fields should be labeled, marked, and placed within mobile checkouts.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Forms: Field Validation

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Forms: Field Validation

8 Guidelines, 46 Pages

How to ensure mobile users don’t get stuck when they run into a validation error, incl. writing helpful error messages, how to position error messages on mobile, how users correct info, how to design address validator alerts, etc.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Forms: Input Optimization

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Forms: Input Optimization

12 Guidelines, 40 Pages

How sites can greatly optimize the mobile form-filling experience for users, through field simplificaiton, smart defaults and autodetections, incl. all touch keyboard optimizations.

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Site-Wide Features & Elements

Mobile E-Commerce

Mobile Site-Wide Features & Elements

19 Guidelines, 125 Pages

How to design site-wide mobile features that perform well with users, incl. ‘Install App’, ‘Save Product’, location requests, overlay dialogs, ‘live chat’, footer sections, etc.


Subscribe to Baymard Premium to access all of our Mobile UX research

Get full access to all our Mobile E-Commerce UX research reports, mobile benchmarks, and page designs previewed here, along with our complete 700+ guidelines for Homepage & Category Navigation, Search, Product Listing, Product Details Page, Checkout, and Accounts & Self-Service. Utilize our 54,000+ hours of UX research to improve your mobile user experience and to document your UX decisions.

Learn more about Baymard Premium


Test Methodology

This research on Mobile UX is part of Baymard Institute’s full 54,000+ hours of large scale research catalog, which is based on:

  1. Usability Testing: 8 rounds of qualitative usability testing with 1,200+ test subject/site sessions following the "Think Aloud" protocol (in-person 1:1 moderated lab usability testing).
  2. 12 rounds of manual benchmarking of the world’s 60 top-grossing e-commerce sites across all 700+ UX guidelines across (34,900+ implementation examples and 57,100+ UX performance scores).
  3. In-lab eye-tracking testing.
  4. 8 quantitative studies with a total of 10,721 participants.

Baymard’s research methodology is described in detail here.


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