When browsing brick-and-mortar stores, we often find shoppers who spend more time gazing at their smartphones than the shelves. For some, this behavior reflects the desire to find competitive deals, while others seek the opinions and reviews of friends and fellow customers. But, while mobile sales and searches continue to surge, many retailers fail to deliver the kind of mobile shopping experiences consumers have come to expect and demand.
Mobiquity's "Mobile Shopping Satisfaction Report 2013" explores consumer activity via smartphone and tablet and how these experiences impact the average user's likelihood to purchase. The study, conducted by ResearchNow, asked 1,003 people within the United States to evaluate their mobile shopping experiences during the past six months at 20 of the top brick-and-mortar retail brands in the nation. On Cyber Monday alone, mobile traffic grew to 31.7 percent of all online traffic-an increase of 45 percent over 2012-highlighting this emerging channel's growing power within the consumer arena. Overall, mobile sales now exceed 17 percent of all online sales, up more than 55 percent from the previous year.
The following statistics examine how the mobile landscape continues to evolve and how both poor and positive experiences impact customer engagement and loyalty:
- This year, Target overtook Wal-Mart's position as the most browsed retailer, with 39 percent of smartphone shoppers and 45 percent of tablet users browsing Target's mobile app and website, up from 22 percent and 28 percent, respectively, last year.
- Apple now occupies the lead position when it comes to purchases made via mobile. Last year, only 14 percent of smartphone shoppers and 19 percent of tablet users shopped on Apple's mobile app and site. However, in 2013, those numbers soared to 49 percent and 51 percent respectively.
- When comparing mobile shopping to online shopping, 35 percent say the mobile experience is worse and 36 percent believe the experience to be the same, while only 9 percent of respondents think mobile surpasses the online experience.
- Forty-eight percent of smartphone shoppers and 50 percent of tablet users are less likely to shop with any given retailer again if their mobile experience is poor. Complaints typically reflect design and user experience issues such as hard-to-find products, hard-to-see images, difficulty locating reviews, too many steps, and slow load times.
- After researching purchases on mobile, 35 percent of smartphone users complete their transactions in-store, 23 percent on laptops or computers, and 16 percent via the mobile site on their smartphones. Thirty-six of those that begin the research process on their tablets complete their purchases in-store, 24 percent via the mobile site on their tablets, and 22 percent on a laptops or computers.
- Forty-nine percent of respondents predict that they will spend $100 or more via smartphone apps this holiday season, up from 23 percent in 2012, while 40 percent plan to spend $100 or more via tablet apps, up from 27 percent last year.
Key takeaway: Unfortunately, while many leading brands work to extend their reach and develop an online presence, most fail to recognize the power behind mobile engagement. Customers have come to expect and demand an efficient mobile experience, but even today's most popular retailers fail to deliver the design and user experience necessary to retain loyalty and drive revenue. From research to purchase, mobile now drives traffic both in-store and online. This "click and mortar" trend requires an innovative omnichannel strategy that puts the consumer at the center of every element. By constantly tapping into customer feedback and behavioral data, brands will be able to remain ahead of the competition, allowing their mobile presence to evolve alongside technological advancements and consumer activities. After all, today's shoppers are constantly on the go, so retailers must be prepared to follow.