Shopping Satisfaction: Mobile 47%, Desktop 56%, Store 60%

More consumers are making purchases through mobile, but that doesn’t mean they’re happy doing it.

As the mass migration to mobile actions continues, smartphone owners are doing more researching, shopping and purchasing with their phones, but not all are totally satisfied with the experience.

The comfort level of shopping is highest at a store and lowest via social channels such as Facebook and Twitter, based on the seventh annual mobile retail shopping survey conducted by the e-tailing group.

The study comprised a survey of 1,000 smartphone owners and 50 major retailers, evaluating the top tasks that shoppers are likely to perform in relation to the mobile experience.

Measured by shopping channel experience, here’s the breakdown of where smartphone owners are very satisfied:

  • 60% -- Store
  • 56% -- Desktop
  • 47% -- Mobile
  • 24% -- Social

This matters, since almost three-quarters (73%) of smartphone owners spend five or more hours a week using their phone to research products, find stores or make a purchase, and more than half (51%) spend 10 hours or more.

As yet another indicator that mobile influences sales well in advance of a store visit, more than half (55%) of smartphone owners said they researched products via mobile prior to visiting a store.

When they get to the store, that doesn’t mean a sale there is inevitable. More than four in 10 (42%) researched products and alternatives on their smartphone during a store visit.

Retailers and mobile marketers are facing a host of issues around mobile shopping, based on the study. Here are some problems that consumers found when using their smartphone to shop:

  • 47% -- Slow load times
  • 46% -- Pages not optimized for mobile
  • 35% -- Error messages
  • 34% -- No Wi-Fi or weak mobile signal
  • 31% -- Poor image quality
  • 29% -- Having to do a lot of typing
  • 27% -- Inadequate product information
  • 27% -- Difficulty reading print on small device
  • 26% -- Mobile site was difficult to navigate
  • 21% -- Mobile site redirected me to desktop experience
  • 20% -- The time it takes to shop relative to desktop
  • 14% -- Inability to checkout
  • 13% -- Inadequate customer service information
  • 11% -- Profile information was not shared from one channel to the next

Current inventory of a store also is important to mobile shoppers. More than half (57%) of shoppers have tapped into their smartphone three or more times over a three-month period to check the availability of a product at a local store.

Many retailers seem to get this, since 88% of them have the capability to show current inventory with 83% having in-store product locators.

So that is at least one potential area that may lead to positive customer satisfaction.

The risk of a negative mobile shopping experience is most acute with Millennials, since considerably more of them are purchasing by mobile device, according to Global Web Index. Here’s the percentage of those who made an online purchase via mobile in the last month:

  • 62% -- Millennials
  • 49% -- Gen X
  • 22% -- Baby Boomers

Another study, by BI Intelligence, found that 90% of millennials at one time or another had made at least one purchase on their smartphone. Interestingly, almost half (45%) of them made an in-store smartphone payment within a one-week period, so mobile payments may have a seed to grow in that demographic.

Mobile shopping has been getting bigger. Now it has to get better. 

This column was previously published in MobileShopTalk on October 5, 2016.
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