Mobile shopping has become a new competitive battlefield for retailers, as 33 percent of shoppers immediately defect to a competitor after a negative user experience, a new report from Skava, a provider of mobile, tablet and in-store technologies says.
The results of the Skava Consumer Mobile Shopping Survey - conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Skava - asked 2,085 U.S. adults aged 18+ about their experience when shopping on smartphones.
While the trend to shop on smartphones is growing, with 71 percent of smartphones owners saying they shop using their mobile device. However, mobile shopping experiences fail to meet consumer satisfaction, as 88 percent of those who shop on their smartphone have experienced negative issues, Skava says.
When asked about their biggest pain points when shopping on mobile, mobile shoppers responded:
· Retailers websites are harder to navigate and use on a mobile device than on a desktop - 51 percent
· Product images are too small to make buying decision - 46percent
· Concerns over security on their smartphone - 41 percent
· Checkout process is a pain - 26 percent
Other challenges Skava says revealed in the study included concerns over data usage costs, difficulties in adding coupon codes and mobile website speed. Interestingly, some shoppers believe that products are more expensive on a mobile website, while others claimed concerns over clicking the wrong buttons when making purchases.
The sudden rise in the number of visitors accessing retailers' websites from mobile took many retailers by surprise and they quickly created a mobile site as a first response, but the initial bounce rates were high and conversion rates low leaving many retailers thinking that people did not have an appetite to buy from mobile, said Arish Ali, Skava co-founder and president.
It isn't just about putting a mobile website out there, Skava says. It is about building an experience that is easy for customers to use and takes into consideration the unique attributes of mobile devices. Achieving significant conversion rates on mobile is possible. Amazon, a constant threat to traditional retailer, generated $4 billion in sales through mobile last year.
Skava conducted the survey in order to gain insight into the American user experience when shopping on a smartphone, as well as to determine the resulting consequences for U.S. retailers when a user has a negative shopping experience, Skava reports.
Perhaps the most serious implication for retailers is that 30 percent claimed they would never return to that particular retailers mobile website again after a negative experience. Furthermore, 29 percent of smartphone owners claimed it would be 6 months or more before giving a retailers mobile website a second chance, while 33 percent would immediately defect to a competitor and 36 percent would abandon the purchase altogether after a sub-optimal experience.
Skava says it works with some of the biggest retailers in America who typically generate in excess of $1 billion in online sales. Nearly 13 percent of their traffic is coming from smartphones, so for them achieving optimal conversion rates through this channel is crucial to their bottom line.
"Retailers need to create a unique, mobile optimized navigation to navigate a customer to their desired product as quickly as possible. Once there, you then must create a product page that the consumer feels confident buying from and then check out must be a breeze," Skava says.
However, as the results of this nationwide survey show, in general many retailers are still failing to meet their customers expectations and this creates a real threat of losing customers and market share to their competitors who create superior mobile experiences, Skava says.