There’s no denying that smartphones are a real pain to make a purchase on.

Anyone who has ever completed an online order on a mobile device knows what a struggle it can be.

With the information you need to put in (on a tiny screen with not-so-tiny fingers), it’s a true tribulation – it often feels like you deserve a trophy by the end.

Mobile commerce has been working hard to make the smartphone checkout process easier on apps and mobile websites as more users shop through their smartphones.

With the holiday shopping season upon us, the issue of mobile transactions is an especially appropriate and urgent topic. Recent reports show that mobile devices accounted for 60% of traffic to eCommerce product pages on Black Friday.

Clearly most consumers prefer to shop online rather than brave the busy malls, but this doesn’t mean online conversions are guaranteed when it comes to mobile shopping. In both mobile websites and apps, disruptions in the checkout process can easily prevent shoppers from completing their purchases.

How can your app cut down on purchase path friction and make the mobile checkout process easier for users?

The good new is that PayPal (and other mCommerce payment solutions) are making large strides in reducing friction and making the mobile checkout process more fluid.

1. It Streamlines the Shopping Cart With Shorter Form Fields

When it comes to mobile sales, the smartphone has been its own worse enemy. Between credit card digits, shipping addresses, and account log-ins, few people have the patience to enter so much information on a smartphone’s tiny, fickle screen.


Any marketer knows that it’s essential to make a user’s conversion path streamlined.

That means sacrificing form fields and button clicks so that users can be as close to the conversion as possible, and so that finishing a shopping cart checkout process doesn’t feel like filling out your taxes.

With mobile commerce, a user has an exhaustive laundry list of information he or she must provide. And he really, really doesn’t want to do that on a smartphone (if you want to remember the true pain of typing on a mobile device, try turning off auto-correct for a few minutes and let the trauma set in).

Every click that can be reduced in the checkout process is pivotal for user experience. As an online shopper, it’s amazing how easily we give up on a task that is no longer deemed “fun.”

Admittedly, as users, we can be lazy. But in today’s instant-gratification culture, can you really blame us? We expect the best, most efficient route to what we want, and it’s a marketer’s job to make that happen.

For this reason, features like PayPal Express Checkout are minor miracles. PayPal improves the checkout process by leaps and bounds, saving payment and shipping info and auto-inputting it in when you request to pay with PayPal.


This saves customers precious time, allowing them to skip the hassle of typing in names and numbers, instead giving them an express pass straight to the sale.

The effect of this transaction tightening is huge for consumers. In a study by Nielsen, integrating PayPal Express Checkout resulted in a 15% increase in total customer spend for mobile merchants.

You can borrow this practice from PayPal by saving the shipping and billing information of mobile users yourself (through your app or through an online login), reducing checkout friction and letting users auto-fill their details. However, PayPal does all this already in an easy and secure setup, so going with them might be better.

2. It Increases Conversions By Cutting Down On Clicks

Reducing form fields is huge for improving the checkout process, and every entry you can eliminate will make users euphoric.

However, the ultimate goal for an eCommerce app is to reduce clicks (or in the case of mobile, taps,) as well, since every extra step is like walking on eggshells with users.

In our glorious futuristic space-age area, we’re actually getting pretty darn close to that golden one tap transaction.

New touch ID capability, as offered through services like Apple Pay, mean that users can complete a transaction by providing their thumbprint. Even for mobile devices not set up for fingerprint technology, there are other methods of implementing one-tap transactions.

PayPal’s One Touch checkout lets users complete purchases without even the need to log into PayPal’s database. Users simple log in once to PayPal, choose the option to keep themselves logged in, and from then on can pay with the One Touch option that will appear when shopping with applicable merchants.

Mobile businesses have had impressive results when cutting down on clicks, with ShareMatch reporting a 30% increase in conversions with PayPal One Touch, while StubHub reporting a 13% increase in average order value.


As the popularity of one-touch payment options increase, we’ll doubtlessly see mobile purchases skyrocket. It’s a pretty exciting move for mobile, which already boasts the lion’s share of internet activity. A more streamlined checkout process is icing on the cake.

3. It Triggers Transaction Trust

Another tremendous benefit of implementing the PayPal button into mobile shopping is the transaction trust that it generates.

With established fraud protection and a long history of expertise, this isn’t PayPal’s first mobile rodeo.

They’ve been experimenting with mobile payments since 2004, and have been doing online transactions in general since 2001. For some reference, YouTube wasn’t even close to existing in 2001, and the original Napster was still alive and well.

A large majority of online consumers have used PayPal for numerous online transactions over the years. PayPal has the name, the reputation, and the experience. That’s no easy thing to compete against.

apple-pay-vs-paypal.pngWhen it comes to Apple Pay, the Apple brand has a lot of trust too, and deep relationships with consumers, but it’s yet to be seen if that trust translates to transactions.

According to a June 2015 InfoScout study, only 13% of users with newer Apple devices have ever tried using Apple Pay, although this may change if Apple Pay pushes promotions to accompany the holiday shopping season (they’d be crazy not to).

While Apple Pay and its less attention-grabbing cousin twice-removed, Google Wallet, are still experimental, PayPal has a solid track record and a high level of tried and true trust to back its reign.

4. It Will Help Ramp up Revenue and Conversions

As an app, you’re not cutting down clicks and seeking out transaction trust for the sheer fun of it all – the goal is to increase conversions and revenue of course!

Combining easy payment options, shorter transactions, and trust factors can result in some pretty radical revenue jumps.

One great example of a streamline shopping cart process leading to major increases in revenue comes from Beyond the Rack, a fashion ecommerce business. Beyond the Rack is a very mobile-driven company, with 50-60% of their revenue coming from mobile devices each week.


When Beyond the Rack first began offering the “pay with PayPal” option, PayPal checkouts accounted for 12% of the business’s revenue in less than one day.


Even customers who already had their credit card information stored with Beyond the Rack preferred to override those settings in favor of paying with PayPal.

Today, one year after adding the PayPal integration, PayPal accounts for 25% of Beyond the Rack’s revenue.

Clearly, improvements to the checkout process are well rewarded. Optimizing the checkout process if vital for any ecommerce business, but it’s even more pivotal for mobile.

Easy checkout options like PayPal make buying online a breeze for mobile users, significantly boosting revenue as a result.

For Beyond the Rack, PayPal was an absolute game changer. Could it be a game changer for your app too?

If you’ve had experiences integrating PayPal or similar services into your mobile checkout process, we’d love to hear from you – share your experience in the comments.