I've been saying it for years: mobile ecommerce needs a simpler conversion path from discovery to conversion. Now a study confirms it. Make it easy to connect and reduce the amount of processes and clicks to find the information, and business professionals will start researching and spending more through mobile devices.
A larger number of executives would prefer to use tablets and smartphones if vendors made it easier to buy on mobile devices, according to a B2B study from Forbes Insights and Google titled, "The Connected Executive: Mobilizing the Path to Purchase and Google."
The Forbes and Google study found that one-fourth of the executives have purchased a product or service directly from their mobile device during the past six months, but in the next three years the percentage of senior executives expecting to increase mobile research and procurement habits will rise to 62% vs. 56% of the under age 40.
The report, based on a survey of 511 executives in March 2013 at companies generating more than $500 million annually, found 66% of executives use their mobile device to research information while at work, 60% while watching TV, and 41% during exercise. I didn't include the highest stats pointing to mobile use on business trips because it's a given people use their device more often when on the go.
Still, the study found most execs believe it's still too cumbersome to conduct detailed research on a mobile device. Some 34% said mobile Web sites or apps remain too difficult to see, read or navigate through the information. About 21% said the devices are not supported by their respective company's purchasing system, and 11% don't trust the security features. Another 7% said it takes too long to purchase on a mobile device, and vendor apps or Web sites don't allow online purchases.
Executives want to see mobile-optimized sites that are simple to use and have features similar to desktop sites. In fact, 73% of executives confirm a bad mobile experience makes them less likely to do business with a company, 61% admit a bad mobile experience makes them want to buy from a competitor, 41% makes them more likely to buy or engage. Here are some nuances from the study: 35% are less likely to engage with a vendor without a mobile-friendly site even if they like a brand or product, and 26% said if they like a brand or product, they are less likely to engage without a mobile app.
The study focuses on B2B procurement and research, but many consumer Web sites and apps face the same challenges.