American Marketer


88pc of smartphone shoppers have negative experiences: report

June 24, 2013


Mobile shopping is increasingly an area of competitive advantage for retailers who get it right, according to a new report from Skava that shows 88 percent of smartphone shoppers have negative experiences.

A key finding is that 33 percent of mobile shoppers defect to a competitor after a negative user experience, suggesting that merchants need to put a bigger focus on delivering strong mobile shopping experiences. Another important finding is that 30 percent of smartphone shoppers say they will never return after having a negative user experience.

“Many retailers still think that mobile isn't working – and as such aren’t investing in it - but the reality is that their mobile Web site is just hard to use from a consumer perspective,” said Danielle McCormick, senior director of marketing at Skava, San Francisco.

“Your conversion rate is a reflection of how easy your Web site is to use and how users are enjoying the experience - and retailer's conversion on mobile varies drastically,” she said. “When top retailers are selling such huge amounts of products online, the difference between a 0.2 percent and a 1.8 percent conversion rate can hit the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars, so the investment made to create an optimal user experience - which is proven to increase conversion rate - is money well spent.

“Amazon did $4 billion in sales in mobile last year. If you do it right, the customers will buy. If you don’t do it right, they will go to a competitor and you could lose market share in this new frontier.”

Mobile optimized navigation
As mobile traffic continues to grow – it is around 13 percent for many retailers, according to Skava - more merchants are coming out with mobile shopping experiences. However, many of these were created as a knee-jerk reaction and have high bounce rates and low conversion rates because the experiences are not strong.

When retailers put in the effort to create experiences that are easy to use and take into consideration the unique attributes of mobile devices, they are able to achieve significant conversion rates, per Skava.

Harrods' mobile site

For those retailers who are investing in mobile shopping experiences, many are still challenged with getting it right as screen sizes are so much smaller in mobile and users are often on the go.

Skava recommends retailers create a unique, mobile optimized navigation to navigate a customer to their desired product as quickly as possible, have product pages that the consumer feels confident buying from and ensure that check out is quick and easy.

Pain points
The Skava Consumer Mobile Shopping Survey found that 71 percent of smartphone owners shop using their mobile device.

Users pointed to several pain points when shopping on mobile, including 51 percent who said retailers’ Web sites are harder to navigate and use on a mobile device than on a desktop. Additionally, 46 percent said product images are too small to make a buying decision, 41 percent had concerns over security on their smartphone and 26 percent said the checkout process is a pain.

One interesting finding was that some shoppers believe that products are more expensive on a mobile Web site.

Other key findings include that 29 percent of smartphone owners said it would be 6 months or more before they give a retailer’s mobile Web site a second chance after having a negative experience while and 36 percent would abandon the purchase altogether.

“We assumed that the need for filling in credit card and billing details would be the main reason people don’t like shopping on mobile," Ms. McCormick said. "However, what was surprising was that this wasn't the main reason people didn’t shop on mobile. It was because they found the retailers' Web sites hard to use.

“And this is the problem when going with a template-based approach,” she said. “Mobile needs its own unique layout and design to be easy to use from a

user perspective.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York