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Mobile Ecommerce Conventions

An introduction to frequently-used terminology and concepts.

Keeping All the Acronyms Straight

As you read through this guide, you’ll notice a variety of acronyms and ecommerce terminology that may be unfamiliar if you're relatively new to ecommerce design. The conventions and terms we’re presenting here are considered industry standard and have been readily integrated into our Mobify design process. Let’s review some of these conventions now so that you’ll be well-equipped going forward.

There is no way to predict where the shopper will land on the PWA experience (more on this later). They may be directed from an email newsletter, they may follow a link from a social media newsfeed, or perhaps they will type in the URL directly; they could begin their journey at any page! Even though shoppers will not always conform to a specific pattern, we typically refer to the “buyer’s journey” as the act of navigating through a particular flow, namely Home > Category Listing Page (CLP) > Product Listing Page (PLP) > Product Detail Page (PDP) > Cart > Checkout. Let’s review each of these core templates.

Major templates of a mobile ecommerce experience
Each of the major templates of a mobile ecommerce experience have different use cases.

Homepage

An ecommerce homepage is usually reserved for displaying promotions and recent news and developments. Additionally, it should offer a clear overview of the site structure, and give shoppers a launchpad into products and offerings. It’s crucial that the homepage allows users to quickly infer the purpose of the site, in addition to learning the kinds of products available. This is usually accomplished with a visual category list navigation.

Example homepage layout

Category Listing Page (CLP)

The Category Listing Page (CLP) shows a list of product categories. Often in ecommerce sites, products are organized into a tree structure; for example, a running shoe may be categorized in the following manner: Women > Footwear > Sports. A CLP can be top-level or a sub-category. It is different from a PLP, described next, as it does not primarily showcase products.

Key Interactions:


Product Listing Page (PLP)

The Product Listing Page (PLP) shows all products available within a certain category. A PLP is a sub-category. It is different from a CLP as it exists to showcase products, not additional sub-categories.

Merlins Potions PLP page

Key Interactions:


Product Detail Page (PDP)

The Product Detail Page, commonly known as a PDP, is a page or screen that offers full details on a specific product, along with purchasing options and controls to add to cart, wishlist, or buy immediately. PDPs are traditionally the primary purchasing interface for a product. They're often an endpoint for PLPs, search results, and sales tactics such as sales promotions, or push notifications.

A product detail page example
The PDP is a page or screen that offers full details on a specific product, along with purchasing options and controls to add to cart, wishlist, or buy immediately.

Key Interactions:


Cart

The cart (often named “bag” or “shopping bag”) is a listing of all items the shopper has reserved for purchasing, along with functions to checkout. The cart is typically accessible as a singular template (e.g. /cart), but sometimes available from every page/screen as a mini-cart.

Examples of shopping carts

Key Interactions:


Checkout

The checkout flow is arguably the most critical area of an ecommerce website or app — in fact, optimizing a checkout flow design has been shown by the Baymard Institute to increase conversion rates by up to 35.2%. (NOTE: Appleseed, Jamie, Christian Holst, Thomas Grønne, Edward Scott, Lauryn Smith, and Christian Vind. “ecommerce Usability: Checkout.” Accessed December 13, 2016.) The user experience of an ecommerce checkout also has lasting effects on brand perception and repeat business potential.

The primary purpose of an ecommerce checkout is to collect billing and shipping information from the user to complete the purchase.

Key Interactions: