Mobile Optimisation Insights: Test, Test, Test

Mobile Optimization Initiative - eCommerce

In May I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion at the Magento Imagine 2019 conference. I was invited to take part alongside five other panelists who are also involved with the Magento Mobile Optimisation Initiative—a community that seeks to understand and close the gap between mobile and desktop conversion rates.

If you don’t participate in the initiative, I encourage you to sign up right away. It’s not some theoretical undertaking with a deck of 150 slides to sit through; it’s a hands-on way to test concepts and treatments on your mobile site that can help you make a positive impact on conversion rates, average order value (AOV), revenue per visitor (RPV), and other metrics.


As a merchant joining the initiative, you are assigned an expert to work with, who will leverage the community analytics platform to help you select five treatments that make the most sense to test on your mobile site. After the initial trial phase, there is a library of over 120 experiments that you can leverage to continue experimenting and improving if you decide to remain part of the Mobile Optimization Initiative.


At Imagine 2019, I had the opportunity to discuss our experience and share the results of treatment tests we’ve run with our eCommerce merchants. Here is a snapshot of the experiments discussed on our panel:

Remove Wishlist: +5.62% lift on RPV

Wishlist’s are a way to keep a lead hot in the vent when a consumer is unable or unwilling to make a decision at that moment. But should mobile sites include the option to save products to a Wish list? The results of our experiments suggest not. In a mobile use case, Wishlist’s seem to offer shoppers a way to procrastinate which leads them to putting an item in the Wish list and never thinking of it again.

Removing the Wish list feature for mobile reduces unnecessary distractions, so shoppers stay focus on the Add to Cart button and complete their purchase. The data suggests that removing the Wish list from a mobile site can boost RPV by as much as 5.62%

All the panellists were surprised by this test result. Wishlist’s are a standard eCommerce feature and are built into the core Magento platform, which means all Magento sites come with this feature out-of-the-box. The assumption is that every customer wants or expects a Wish list feature, but our results for mobile suggest otherwise.

There are exceptions, of course. Consumers considering high-end purchases, like diamond earrings, are more likely to use a Wish list. That’s understandable, as the shopper wants to think things over a little longer before making such a large purchase. Shoppers may also like to share their Wish list if they’ve been asked to choose something for their birthday or Christmas, for example.

If you’re not sure how your visitors are using your Wish list particularly on mobile, it may be time to test its removal; a 5.62% in mobile revenue can represent a nice boost for your business!

Mobile Optimization - eCommerce

Add PayPal Express Checkout: 8.72% lift in RPV

Online shopping rewards impulse shoppers—it’s just so easy to buy! Adding a PayPal Express button to the product detail pages (PDP) makes that impulse even more enticing by sparing the shopper the burden of entering their address or payment information.

Conventional wisdom says that allowing visitors to checkout directly from the PDP is a good way to lower your AOV. Why not encourage folks to browse more and fill their carts? However, in this case, conventional wisdom is wrong. Injecting the PayPal Express in mini-carts boosts RVP lift by a healthy 8.72%.

Many web designers discourage site managers from injecting express payment methods into their clean, sleek product detail pages. However, the data shows that it’s worth testing it! It’s probably not a good idea to offer all payment options on a product detail page, but neither is it wise to eliminate all express-payment options either.

Mobile Optimization Experiments

Remove Breadcrumbs: -7.09% impact on RPV!

On a tiny mobile screen, distractions can be fatal to conversion. The goal is to eliminate as many distractions as possible. This was the assumption behind testing the removal of Breadcrumbs (navigation elements that help a user know where they are on a website or an app), which are redundant on sites with effective navigation.

But what did the data tell us? Customers like them, possibly because they find them reassuring in some way. In fact, in instances where the Breadcrumbs were removed, mobile revenue per visitor went down 7.09%.

Breadcrumbs are also pretty important for SEO, so keeping them intact benefits both the customer and the merchant.

How to Optimize for Mobile

Floating Checkout Button: -1.55% impact of RPV

Finally, we discussed our experiments with the Floating Checkout button. Mobile commerce best practices say that the fewer barriers to purchase, the more likely a shopper is to convert.

The Floating Checkout button adds a button to the bottom of the page that “floats” along with the visitor. At any point, he or she can proceed to checkout. Though arguably more convenient, shoppers seemed unimpressed. Overall the Floating Checkout button decreased mobile RPV by 1.55%.

However, this experiment uncovered an interesting trend—61% of merchants with only one existing checkout button on the cart page experienced lift—outperforming those with two.  Basically, the Floating Checkout button may have helped lift sales, but only if it doesn’t create screen clutter by inserting a second redundant button.

Of course, -1.55% isn’t a huge loss, and that’s instructive. In all of our tests, merchants experienced boosts while others suffered losses when testing the same treatment.

Mobile Optimization for Checkout


Test, test, test! Just because removing a Wish list or adding PayPal Express button lifted RPV for most sites, doesn’t mean it will do the same for you. Everyone on the panel agreed that merchants should test each treatment prior to implementing it permanently—and continue to test in the future as there are so many variables that can affect conversion and revenue metrics.