As part of a study of nearly 10,000 visitors to the biggest e-retail websites in the U.K. (determined by traffic, according to IMRG), customer experience analytics firm ForeSee Results used a patented methodology created at the University of Michigan to examine how mobile shopping trends during the holiday season could have year-long implications. The ForeSee Results’ methodology is able to show how customers’ satisfaction with mobile websites and applications impacts their future purchase intent, loyalty, and recommendations across all channels.
- Shoppers are using mobile phones to access websites and apps more than ever before. 32% of respondents have used their phone to access a retailer website, and an additional 32% indicated they plan to access retailer websites or mobile apps by phone in the future. “It looks like nearly two-thirds of all shoppers in the U.K. will soon be using their mobile phones for retail purposes if they aren’t already,” said Kevin Ertell, vice president of retail strategy at ForeSee Results and author of today’s report. “Any retailer not actively working to develop, measure, and refine its mobile experience is leaving money on the table for competitors.”
- Mobile purchase behaviour is exploding. A total of 8% of web shoppers reported having made a purchase from their phones this Christmas season, compared to only 2% at this time last year. This 8% figure lags the U.S., but only by a little; 11% of American shoppers have bought something on their mobile phone.
- Shoppers use their phones for a variety of tasks. The majority of shoppers who used their phones for retail purposes did so to compare price information (47%). Shoppers also used their phones to compare different products (34%), to look up product specifications (20%), and to view product reviews (15%).
- Shoppers use their phones to look at competitor websites. While in physical stores, more than two-thirds of mobile shoppers (67%) used their phones to visit the store’s own website, but one-quarter (26%) used their phones to access a competitor’s website. This proportion is up substantially from 2009, when only 17% of mobile shoppers accessed a competitor’s site from within a store.
- Traditional websites satisfy shoppers more than mobile sites and apps. In general, shoppers rate their satisfaction with retail websites significantly higher (72 on the study’s 100-point scale) than their satisfaction with mobile experiences (apps and sites) (67). A similar score gap is present in the U.S., although scores for both websites (78) and mobile experiences (75) were higher. “It’s true that mobile sites have far less maturity than traditional e-retail websites,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results. “But I’m not sure that matters to consumers. Their expectations are being set by the best websites and the best mobile experiences. They aren’t going to have a lot of patience for excuses about the challenges that mobile shopping presents when it comes to design and usability. Retailers in both the United States and the United Kingdom need to step up their game in this area.”
- Good experiences with mobile sites and apps have critical cross-channel impact. Shoppers who are highly satisfied with a mobile experience say they are 32% more likely to buy from that retailer online and 31% more likely to buy offline, as well as being far more likely to return to the main website, recommend it, and be loyal to the brand. “It’s another reminder and a nice way to quantify that every customer touch point matters to overall loyalty and sales,” added Ertell. “Retailers cannot afford to ignore or even neglect the mobile experience and assume it won’t hurt their traditional online or in-store business.”