There are many usability guidelines and principles for desktop e-commerce websites, mobile is not a widely covered area and it is growing very fast. The main challenge in mobile e-commerce is that the user in generally on the go and in a rush; therefore, attention and connectivity vary through the shopping process.
In desktop sites, it’s possible to implement different functionalities like up selling or cross selling techniques whereas in mobile, it’s important to allow the users to quickly find what they are looking for and make the checkout process as simple as possible.
Additionally, the small screen size makes it more difficult to manoeuvre trough the site and to have a quick overview of the content. The screen resolution of mobile devices is on average 1/3 of the desktop resolution, which increases the difficulty of tasks like writing.
Another difference is that the available mobile bandwidth is limited, so the page size is more important. As the load time increases, the chances of the user abandoning the site also increases. Another important consideration is that desktop sites are designed to be used with a cursor. In mobile, the cursor is substituted by the user’s finger, so the precision to select items is reduced and the hover functionality to distinguish elements is completely unavailable.
Finally, As the number of choices increases, the time required to make a decision also increases. As more features are included the interface complexity and chance for failure increases. Therefore, for mobile sites it is required to balance a reduction of the available information and functionality without affecting the shopping capabilities.