Commentary

85% Of Shoppers Unlikely To Go Back After A Bad Mobile Experience; 95% Want Issues Resolved On First Try

As more people research and purchase via mobile, an increasing number of those shoppers are looking for direct help from the companies they are dealing with.

Unfortunately, when mobile shoppers look to find contact details to get help in their purchase, many of them come up short and end up cancelling the transaction.

More than half (53%) of consumers use mobile phones for product research on products or services before buying them, based on a new study.

That number has remained relatively steady over the last year.

The study comprised a seven-country survey of 8,000 consumers who have used a mobile device for communicating with a company regarding a purchase of a query. It was conducted by Vanson Bourne for BoldChat by LogMeIn.

Numerous studies have shown that many consumers regularly visit a company’s Web site or mobile app in the course of shopping. Many of those consumers are looking for answers. When visiting a site or app, here’s what consumers are doing frequently or almost always:

  • 67% -- Type a question into a search engine
  • 58% -- Look for ways to contact a person
  • 53% -- Look for FAQ or other self-help
  • 50% -- Look for customer reviews
  • 31% -- Look for video content

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This means that shoppers are more likely to leave a retailer’s Web site as they move to search engines so that if a company Web site or app doesn’t provide the desired information, they can very easily lose the customer.

Interestingly, finding a person to help them is more important to consumers than any of the technical features on a smartphone. For example, the most important aspect of mobile shopping is finding contacts, while the least important deals with on-screen scrolling. Here’s what is most important to ensure a good mobile experience, according to the Vanson Bourne research:

  • 44% -- Easy to find contact options for support
  • 17% -- Fast loading pages
  • 16% -- Readable text and images
  • 11% -- Clear navigation
  • 7% -- Site search functionality
  • 5% -- No horizontal scrolling

The more complicated the issue, the more mobile shoppers want to deal with a real person. For example, almost all (91%) consumers said the more complicated the issue, the more likely it is that they will need to contact a real person. That many also said there should always be a way to contact a real person, and 81% said contacting a real person is the fastest way to get a question answered.

Mobile shoppers don’t only want a person to deal with -- they want their issues resolved. Here’s what consumers say is important when contacting a company via mobile:

  • 95% -- Resolving my issue during the first interaction
  • 94% -- The authority of the agent to do what needs to be done to help
  • 93% -- The friendliness of the agent
  • 81% -- The ability for any interactions to be documented in writing

So it looks like a company gets one shot for resolving issues with a mobile shopper. To add icing to that, a large majority (85%) of consumers said they are unlikely to do business with the same organization following a bad mobile experience.

On the other side, 72% say they are likely to do business with a company in the future following a good mobile experience.

This will gain increasing importance as shopping by mobile device increases.

The average proportion of purchases made from a mobile device expected in the next year is 32%, compared to 27% in the last year. This also has implications for spending, since almost three quarters (71%) of those who made a mobile purchase in the last year spent more than $100 on those purchases.

In the U.S., the average amount -- excluding apps and music -- spent per year via mobile is $485.

The key insight for retailers is that there are factors that consumers say would make them spend more via mobile. Here’s what would make them spend more money than currently through their mobile device:

  • 35% -- If it was easier to compare different products on mobile
  • 33% -- If I was more confident about the security of the retailer apps or Web site
  • 30% -- If it was easier to contact retailers on mobile when having a problem
  • 27% -- If I was more confident about the security of my own mobile device
  • 15% -- If my mobile device was easier to use

As more consumers migrate to mobile commerce, the bar is being raised for retailers. In addition to making the process easier for mobile shoppers, they also have to be ready to problems those shoppers may encounter along the way.

And most of the time, they will get just one chance.

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