Consumers Ask Retailers, 'Why Can't You Make Mobile Work For Me?'

While retailers have been yakking for years about seamlessness, omnichannel marketing and mobile optimization, here’s what consumers think: You stink at this.

A new study from Accenture, which measures the gap between customer expectations and retailers' offerings, reports that just 42% of shoppers find it easy to buy something using their mobile device, and many — 40% — think their physical stores are in pretty bad shape too. One major gripe for consumers is inconsistencies in pricing, with 82% of respondents saying they expect a store’s prices to be the same in-store and online. (That’s up 13% from last year’s study.) Yet only 34% of the retailers assessed by Accenture have bothered to do so.

Other ways that chains are letting shoppers down include the failure to optimize sites for tablets, with just 53% of stores doing so. And while 39% of consumers say they would like to earn loyalty points or save money on purchases through in-store mobile phone offers, and 45% say they would appreciate getting real-time promotions, only 28% of retailers have the ability to deliver those services.



Consumers also say that while they would like to use all three channels — in-store, mobile and online — in a more integrated way, they only have the ability to start shopping on their devices and complete the purchase in-store with less than a quarter of retailers.

The consumer portion of the research is based on responses from 750 online shoppers polled by the consulting company, while retailer capabilities are based on an analysis of 32 large U.S. retailers. 

“Our findings highlight a clear gap between the cohesion consumers expect from their shopping experience and what they seem to be getting. This suggests it is time for retailers to rethink their investment approach as they look to drive sales,” says Dave Richards, global managing director of Accenture’s retail practice, in the report. “All sales channels must be equally desirable to the consumer, so that the path to purchase is not chosen based on satisfaction in one channel over another, but simply on what is most convenient at that time.” 

The survey also finds that most consumers still prefer free shipping to fast delivery, with 57% willing to wait between four to seven days. And 26% say they’d pay $10 or more for same-day delivery for an item they need urgently, 13% would pay more for next-day delivery, and 22% might pay $20 or more for delivery within two hours.

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