This past week I was at a WordPress business conference called Pressnomics. It was fantastic. It's also why you haven't seen posts in a few days – because I was busy 20 hours a day for several days in a row. And by busy I mean engaged with tons of entrepreneurs talking about their businesses, while also smoking a few cigars.
Nevertheless, on the first day I was there, Brian Krogsgard launched The Club over at Post Status. I wanted in, but only had my phone with me. Part way thru the signup process I stopped. Buying things with my phone still isn't easy. And he was using WooCommerce – the largest vendor in our market.
I stopped my purchase because WordPress mobile eCommerce still isn't simple.
Later in the week I got a chance to hear from Matt Mullenweg, a guy who is trying to blog daily this year (of course, his posts are like 25 words long). Kidding aside, he's also the CEO of Automattic. So when he talks about WordPress, you know, it's kind of important.
Amidst much of what he said, he mentioned that we still had room to grow (lots of it) on mobile.
I agree. A lot. There's a lot of room for improvement.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that Volusion, Shopify, Bigcommerce, Wix or Yahoo have solved this problem any better. I also don't think Magento, osCommerce, or PrestaShop have solved mobile eCommerce in a way that puts them in front.
There's room for improvement across the board.
So I thought I would write down my wish list. Because you never know. Maybe the guys over at Easy Digital Downloads or WP eCommerce or WooCommerce will read it and decide they want to give me (and all of you) a Christmas gift early!
Things I want in WordPress Mobile eCommerce
UI that takes my fingers into account
I'm biased because I buy from Amazon all the time, but the interface differences are so seriously different from WooCommerce, for example, that it means almost 100% of my mobile purchases are at Amazon. Because most other interfaces are horribly small and require me to have tiny fingers – which I don't.
Don't believe me?
Head to any WooCommerce site and put something into your cart, and then prepare to check out. Not perfect, but not a major issue. Then try to change quantities. You'll see tiny plus and minus icons that are useless. You'll be left to click into the Quantity field and delete your old quantity and put in a new numbers.
Amazon turns it into a large drop down control that is easy to touch and manipulate. I wish that for everyone.
Overlays for Carts & Checkout
Unfortunately I can't recall where I experienced this. But when I did, I was shocked by its simplicity. Maybe you've seen it.
When I added something to my cart, the cart appeared as an overlay (never leaving where I was). I could easily adjust the quantity or slide it out of the way. And I didn't have to navigate to the “back” button of my browser.
Personally, I don't ever want to have to hit back or forward in my mobile browser when navigating an eCommerce site.
Know what I mean?
I'll end my post with a crazy notion. But one I think could work – at least in some cases.
See, here's the thing. I don't really think our mobile experience has to be a mirror of what we do on desktops. When I'm at a computer, sitting at my desk, I have a lot of stuff with me. When I'm on my phone, I have a lot less. I may not even be in a place where I want to pull out my wallet and copy my credit card numbers into a mobile checkout screen.
So what I want is email-based purchases.
Don't leave yet….hear me out.
If I shop at your site, and I see something I like, why not click “buy” and have you ask for my email (and maybe my zipcode). You show me the price and I click “OK” and that's it. The end of the shopping experience.
Now when I get home, there's an email in my inbox with a link to help me process payment – which I'm happy to do.
What I'm saying is that our ordering and our payments could be separated by several hours (not to exceed one business day) and still work fairly well.
Who knows, it might even lead to me making more purchases because it's so fast and easy.
Anyway, my wish list would be complete with better and faster interactions. What about you?