Registration and accounts on ecommerce sites have plenty of pros and cons. On the one hand, they can be handy for retention and easy repeat purchases, but they can be a barrier. 

They can present a particular problem on mobile especially if shoppers have forgotten login details from previous purchases. 

To illustrate this point, here’s an example from the M&S mobile site, one which must be causing a number of abandoned purchases. 

Here’s how M&S does it on mobile

Having failed to remember my password, I choose the reset option. This is easy enough, and set up for mobile: 

Having done this, I receive an email with a password reset link. So far, so good.

Having clicked the reset link on the email, we have this page. A dead-end.

If you have any patience left, you can start the process again on the desktop site which, viewed on mobile, isn’t too easy to use: 

However, even if you do persevere, you’ll still end up back at your mobile email, with a link that leads to the dead-end above. 

So, it seems that, if you’ve forgotten your password and want to shop on your mobile with M&S, then you’re stuck until you can reset it on your laptop or PC.

I wonder how many potential sales M&S loses like this?  

Here’s how it should be done

John Lewis provides a better example on its mobile site. Like M&S the initial password reset page is designed for mobile:

The email isn’t so mobile-friendly, but since all I need to do is click the link, it’s not a major barrier. 

John Lewis password reset email

Unlike M&S, I’m directed to a mobile-optimised password reset page. Easy. 

In summary

While the M&S example is a particularly bad one, plenty of other sites make the password reset process harder than it needs to be for mobile users.

The most common problem is switching them to the desktop version on the site to reset it, from where customers may find it hard to get back to the optimised version they were using before. 

Thought should be given to this customer journey as, since people have so many passwords to remember, they are bound to be forgotten now and then.

Sites should ensure that this doesn’t prevent them making a purchase on their mobile commerce sites.