Make It Easy: M-Shoppers Active But Impatient

Among smartphone owners with an interest in shopping, 58% are using their phones either on their way to or in a retail store. But if the Web site or app they visit delivers a poor experience, they will punch the responsible brand. According to a new study of mobile shoppers from mobile site testing and optimization platform Maxymiser, 30% of dissatisfied m-shopping visitors will leave and go visit a competitor's site instead.

The survey of over 1,000 smartphone owners with an interest in retail also showed that 23% of people will recall that bad experience and return less often, and 9% will never come back. But don’t worry, mobile retail laggards. That poor customer experience on the handheld device has some chance of retrieving the disgruntled -- since 39% of respondents did say they would leave the brand’s mobile site and try it on a PC screen.

The importance of a strong mobile shopping experience has never been greater. Among the shopping-interested mobile users asked, 39% say they are using their phones in-store to complement the live shopping experience. For pre-shopping chores, consumers are most likely to check out electronics stores (46%), clothing (26%) and food (15%) on devices before getting in the store itself. Thirty-nine percent of mobile shoppers are actually using devices in-store, usually to comparison shop. Among all respondents, 19% said they were browsing products and making comparisons on their phones in the store aisles. Another 19% are using them on their way to the store, with 14% looking up locations and hours, and 12% looking for deals and coupons.  

Mobile shoppers put ease of use foremost when it comes to mobile shopping sites, with 48% of respondents citing it as the most important quality of a mobile site they visit. Fast-loading pages are tops with 20%, and 12% most appreciate not having to search around for the search bar itself.  

When mobile interfaces are smooth, there doesn’t appear to be much of a barrier to consumers against spending considerably on mobile phones. The largest share of mobile shoppers (30%) said they were comfortable spending between $50 and $100 on purchases made on the phone. Only 18% restricted themselves to $50 or less. In fact, 43% of smartphone owners with shopping in mind said they could or would make purchases on their phones of $101 or more, with 23% willing to spend more than $200 on items purchased on phones.

All of this underscores the role that screen agnosticism will play in accelerating m-commerce. Users clearly are making fewer distinctions among screens when it comes to buying goods. Another indication of the increasing irrelevance of screen size in tapping that buy button is the role devices are playing in home and higher up the consideration funnel. About a third of people in the survey segment said they m-shop at least a day before they actually visit the retail location. In other words, the longer-term research phase usually associated with desktops is also migrating to devices.  

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