Most retail brands miss the mark on mobile functionality, study shows

Dec. 12, 2012

While consumer spending reports indicate that mobile commerce is gaining speed, a new study finds that most top 20 retail brands fall short of consumer expectations for well-functioning websites and apps.

The Mobile Shopping Satisfaction Report, an independent consumer study commissioned by Mobiquity, found that, of the top 20 retailers, the mobile experience at Apple Stores, Best Buy and Kohl's ranked highest for satisfaction among consumers shopping via smartphones and tablets. 

Key findings from the research included: 

  • Satisfaction is strong: Apple Stores, Best Buy and Kohl's scored the highest for delivering satisfying mobile shopping experiences, followed by Target, Walmart, CVS, Sears, Lowe's and Macy's.  
  • Unsatisfactory mobile shopping experienced directly impacts brand loyalty and future revenues: 41 percent of smartphone owners and 43 percent of tablet owners claimed that they would be less likely to shop at a retailer if they had a poor experience using their mobile app or mobile website.
  • The user experience and technical performance of retailers' mobile apps and sites need work: Among those that had unsatisfactory experiences, slow to load apps and mobile websites were the chief culprit. Half complained that smartphone apps were too slow and 67 percent said that tablet apps were also too slow. Additionally, 65 percent said that smartphone-accessed mobile websites were slow, compared to 45 percent who stated the same about tablet-accessed mobile websites.
  • Navigation was an issue for both smartphone and tablet owners: 35 percent said smartphone apps were tough to navigate, compared to 24 percent of tablet apps. Thirty-two percent said navigation was problematic on smartphone mobile websites, rising to 39 percent for tablets. And, for 57 percent of tablet owners, the checkout process was complicated or did not work at all. 
  • Walmart is the brand most browsed and shopped via mobile devices: 28 percent of smartphone owners had browsed at Walmart, compared to 32 percent of tablet owners. Twenty-three percent used their smartphones to make a purchase from Walmart, while 24 percent used their tablets to transact. Target and Best Buy ranked second and third for smartphone purchasing, while Best Buy and Apple Stores ranked second and third for tablet purchasing.  
  • Consumers mix and match their paths to purchase: After browsing retailers’ mobile apps and mobile sites on their smartphones, 32 percent completed their purchase in-store while 66 percent purchased through other channels (27 percent via smartphone, 20 percent via tablet, and 19 percent online via computer). And after browsing retailers via their tablets, 33 percent went on to make the purchase on their tablet, 27 percent in-store, 21 percent on smartphones and 19 percent online via computer. Conversely, 41 percent purchased via their mobile devices after browsing in-store. Thirty-one percent cited cheaper prices as their motivation, 19 percent said the product was not in-stock and 13 percent cited lines at checkouts that were too long. 

"Today's consumer has multiple paths to purchase and their mobile shopping experiences not only drive revenue through mobile channels, but also influence in-store and online sales," said Andrew Hiser, chief creative officer at Mobiquity. "It is the retailer's prerogative to build seamless and consistent offline, online and mobile shopping experiences, so that wherever and however the customer chooses to shop, it is a positive experience. Because so much of customer loyalty is tied to the brand experience, it's key — especially during the holiday season where so much attention is being paid to mobile commerce — that retailers deliver the best possible mobile shopping experience and ensure the sale."

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Topics: Mobile Retail , Omnichannel / Multichannel , Online Retailing , Technology

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