Disconnect Between Mobile Searches, Purchases Frustrates Consumers

Some 48% of consumers participating in a recent survey either agree or strongly agree that searching and buying products directly from a brand’s mobile website is frustrating, and 61% say they are still more likely to search for inspiration than make a purchase.

Qubit’s latest research analyzes the purchase journey of 1.2 billion consumers and the impact of mobile on digital revenue from desktops and mobile devices. In the report, the findings are combined with data from another Qubit survey of more than 4,000 consumers who provide feedback for the reasons that a brand might experience weak mobile performance.

The study is called The Growing Influence Of Mobile Discovery On Ecommerce Revenue. Analyzing the datasets of consumers who logged into their accounts on more than one type of device shows that the mobile activity of consumers directly influences an average of 19% of desktop revenue.

In some sub-verticals, this influence is much higher. Fashion, for example, sees an average of 24%. Qubit also cites data suggesting that some retailers receive as many as one in three of their desktop transactions as a result of mobile browsing.

On a mobile device, those participating in the survey say poor product discovery is the biggest barrier to their mobile shopping experience.

And as consumers make their way through to purchase, transactions on mobile face a dramatic dropoff. In fact, the study’s findings suggest customers are more engaged on mobile than on desktops during as they search for products -- but the longer it takes, the greater the possibility they will drop off and abandon the sale. This suggests customers can find products on mobile, but they aren’t finding what they want.

When U.S. and U.K. consumers were asked what would encourage consumers to make a purchase on their phone, 47% cited a faster or easier browsing experience, 44% said finding exactly what they want more easily, and 35% said they want an easier way to discover new products. Only one third cited they would be encouraged by the experience making payments easier.

Purchases on mobile may not be the biggest concern for consumers, but they remain a source of frustration. "We were surprised to see that payments on mobile isn't the biggest barrier for consumers anymore,” said Leah Anathan, CMO of Qubit. “This may be related to improvements in payments, but it's also related to the changing behavior of mobile shoppers”

The data suggests consumers browse “like window shoppers on mobile sites and this should “profoundly” change the way retailers should look at the mobile experience they offer consumers.

“Website visitors look for trending products, clothing for an occasion, gifts for a friend and they want to be inspired as they often are on Instagram or Pinterest,” Anathan said. “Retailers with large catalogs and thousands of products need to look at product discovery on mobile in a whole new way." 

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