How 3 Shopping Apps Boost Conversion Through Simple Features


If you’re in the retail space and haven’t optimized your sales process for mobile conversions yet, now’s the time to take action.

On Black Friday last November, mobile devices generated $1.2 billion of purchases.

If that number seems impressive at first glance, it’s even more impressive in context:

  • Mobile purchases amounted to 35.9% of the day’s total online sales that came in at $3.34 billion.
  • Mobile-generated purchases saw a staggering 33% increase compared to the mobile purchases of Black Friday 2015.
  • Individual retailers reported mobile-device purchases of up to 56% of their total Black Friday intake.

Although there isn’t one “right” action you should take to see your mobile conversions shoot up, there are some best-in-class practices that the top retailers around the world have been using with remarkable results. In this post, we’ll look at three optimized checkout flows, analyze why they work for mobile conversions, and suggest A/B tests you can try with your app today to boost profits.

Amazon: Tempting Check-Out Deals

According to BloomReach data, 55% of all U.S. consumers turn to Amazon first for their product searches, even if they’re not planning to buy from the site. Amazon’s mantra is to take people from “wanting to buying in 30 seconds.” It’s no surprise, then, that most of those consumers end up purchasing from Amazon, pushing the company to the top of the e-commerce apex.

One of the key features driving Amazon’s conversions is the bundling of special offers with specific items. Using its extensive user data, the retailer knows which other items are likely to interest customers and puts them on offer to make the original item more attractive.

Take, for example, the Star-Wars themed pillow seen in the first screenshot below. While scrolling for more info, the customer sees a button for special offers available for that item.


Clicking on the button unfolds a drop-down list of bundled offers, each accompanied by a prominent add-to-cart button. And simple as that, Amazon not only converts casual browsers into buyers, it also boosts the value of each purchase through these unique offers.

A/B Test to Try:

Product recommendations offer a good opportunity to expose clients to more items that may interest them. When combined with a special offer, they can become a powerful driver of conversions. You can easily test whether an additional discount would convince your customers to buy more with the following test:

  • [Control]: Offer regular product recommendations right before checkout.
  • [Test]: Offer a special discount for adding one of the recommendations to the cart along with the original item.

Track results to see if the discount offer encourages more users to add recommendations to their cart. You only want to use special recommendations when they help users buy more items they want, not if they create indecision and overwhelm.

Walmart: Store-to-Mobile Experience

For 60 years, Walmart built its reputation as one of the biggest brick-and-mortar retailers in the U.S. That, however, didn’t prevent the retail giant from adapting to the app space, and even climbing to the top of the mobile-commerce charts.

With 27 million app downloads as of June 2016 and a 26% increase in unique visitor visits year-over-year, Walmart occupies second place in mobile retail sales right after Amazon.

Whereas Amazon focuses on minimizing online purchasing speed, Walmart wins by speeding up their customers’ in-store experience through a seamless online-offline operation. The barcode scanning function lets Walmart clients begin shopping before they even set foot in a store. Scanning barcodes of items at home quickly and easily creates a shopping list. Scanning a prescription ticket gets you set up for picking up your refill next time you pass by the store. Additionally, scanning the QR code on the store’s pin pad sends an e-receipt of your purchase to your phone.

Walmart: store-to-mobile experience

To put it in the words of Neil Ashe, President & CEO, Global eCommerce at Walmart, during the 22nd Annual Meeting for the Investment Community:

“The Walmart app solves problems.”

And customers clearly appreciate that.

A/B Test to Try:

If your business has a brick-and-mortar store, why not take a move from Walmart’s playbook and test the results of a seamless site-to-store shopping experience yourself? The test is easy to set up, and the results may surprise you.

  • [Control]: Offer an in-app coupon to clients to be redeemed through the app.
  • [Test]: Offer the same coupon with an option to redeem both in-app and in-store.

See whether the test option will result in greater coupon usage (and greater sales) or whether all of your customers will choose to redeem their coupons online through the app. Understanding where and how your customers prefer to shop will help you optimize the purchasing experience for them.

Macy’s: Digital Wallet for Convenient Checkout

Macy’s caught on to the digital payment trend quite early on. In late 2014, Macy’s was one of the first retailers to implement Apple Pay. But that wasn’t the only payment innovation they added to their app.

During the same period, they also introduced a digital wallet that would allow Macy’s Star Rewards members to “easily store and access offers and coupons virtually.” The retailer’s goal has been to create “a seamless, omnichannel checkout experience” for customers, “whether in-store, on the go via their mobile devices, or at home through desktop interaction.”

Macy's digital wallet

Using the digital wallet, Macy’s Star Rewards members can store coupons, clip offers for easy reference during checkout, and save their card information in a secure and easily-accessible place. Checking out at Macy’s, and cashing in on offers, is as easy as pulling out your phone.

A/B Test to Try

Digital wallets can help you boost conversions through convenience.Why make customers scour their emails for that coupon you sent them? Or why make them add their card info from scratch every time they want to buy something from you? The easier you make it for customers to buy the more they will buy. Test it for yourself.

  • [Control]: Send a digital coupon to half of your loyal clients over email.
  • [Test]: Send the same digital coupon to the other half of your loyal clients with the option to clip and save the coupon in-app.

See which coupons get used the most and when. Do your customers use your coupons straight from their email? Or do they save them in your app first, taking their time to look around and decide what to buy? Test to discover which option can help you increase in-app purchases.

Browse, Click, Convert, Repeat

Not all checkout flows are created equally, because not all customers behave the same way when shopping. To get high conversion rates from your app, you need to find the checkout process that best works for your clients.

Testing the various processes and options, we’ve suggested above can really pay off. When you find that golden flow that moves your app users from browsing to checking out in just a few easy clicks, you’ll see your in-app profits shoot up and your customers come back time and time again for more.

Apptimize is the best-in-class mobile growth platform for Enterprise and SMBs, powering 1.2 billion app downloads across 75 countries.

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