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Apple, Best Buy and Kohl’s top list for mobile shopping satisfaction: study

December 13, 2012

When it comes to mobile shopping satisfaction this year, Apple, Best Buy and Kohl’s are holding the lead, according to a new study from Mobiquity.

Mobiquity’s mobile shopping satisfaction report looks at the functionality of mobile Web sites and applications from the top twenty bricks-and-mortar retailers, as named by Stores magazine. The results point to several retailers struggling to meet consumers’ expectations during holiday shopping.

“Focus on making your mobile Web and mobile application experience useful, fast and engaging,” said Scott Snyder co-founder/chief strategy officer at Mobiquity, Boston.

“This is foundational to any digital initiative you may launch in 2013,” he said. “Customers have a low tolerance for sub-par performance on their mobile devices. The price of falling short is that 41 percent of your customers will switch to a competitor.”

Leading the pack
Mobiquity commissioned Equation Research and surveyed 1,000 smartphone and tablet shoppers about their mobile experiences in the past six months.

According to the research, Apple, Best Buy and Kohl’s are the top retailers in mobile satisfaction.

Fifty-one percent of mobile consumers that shop from Apple ranked the retail experience as very satisfactory and 39 percent said that their experience was satisfactory.

Fifty-five percent of Best Buy shoppers rate their mobile experience as being satisfactory and thirty-five percent of users said that it was very satisfactory.

Sixty-two percent of Kohl’s shoppers said that their mobile experience was satisfactory and 28 percent said that it was very satisfactory.

Target, Walmart, CVS, Sears, Lowe’s and Macy’s also made the list of retailers that shoppers are most satisfied with.

When it comes to brands that consumers visit the most on mobile, Walmart leads the pack. Thirty-two percent of tablet owners and 28 percent of smartphone owners had browsed on Walmart’s mobile sites and apps.

Twenty-four percent of tablet owners bought from Walmart. Twenty-three percent of smartphone owners bought from Walmart’s mobile site and apps.

Target and Best Buy placed second and third in the study as far as where consumers are browsing from the most.

Twenty-eight percent of tablet owners and 22 percent of smartphone owners have accessed Target’s mobile sites and apps.

Twenty-nine percent of tablet owners and 21 percent of smartphone owners have browsed Best Buy’s mobile sites and apps.

Sub-par mobile sites and apps
A bad mobile experience is enough to turn away a consumer from a brand, according to the study.

Forty-three percent of tablet owners and 41 percent of smartphone owners said that they would be less likely to shop from a retailer after a poor mobile experience, showing the importance for retailers to have fast-loading and full-functioning mobile sites and apps.

With holiday shopping in full gear, it is critical that retailers’ mobile sites and apps load quickly, which can also turn users away from a brand.

In fact, 65 percent of consumers in the study said that mobile sites designed for smartphones were too slow. Similarly, 45 percent of users said the same about tablet-accessed mobile sites.

Slow speeds also bug app users. Approximately 50 percent of consumers in the study said that smartphone apps were too slow.

The study is also proof of the need for straight-forward and simple apps and sites. Navigation was a problem for 32 percent of smartphone users on mobile sites with 39 percent of tablet owners saying the same.

Sixty-seven percent of users said the same about tablet apps. Smartphone apps were hard for 35 percent of users to browse. Twenty-four percent of consumers surveyed had a tough time navigating tablet apps.

“Due to the significant increase in crowds, traffic and lines during the holidays, it’s a perfect opportunity to promote browsing and purchasing via mobile devices,” Mr. Snyder said. “Offering free shipping will promote this more.”

Finishing the deal
Nowadays, consumers often start the shopping experience on one device and finish it on another.

Twenty-seven percent of smartphone owners bought from their devices after browsing on retailers’ mobile sites and apps, per the report. Twenty percent finished the transaction on a tablet and 19 percent used their desktop to buy after researching on their mobile devices.

Mobile also plays an equally important role as an influencer versus only being used for direct sales.

According to the report, 32 percent of smartphone owners finished a transaction by going in-store to buy.

Trends with tablet owners are similar. Thirty-three percent of owners finished a purchase from a tablet while 21 percent of users used a smartphone to buy.

Showing the growing threat of showrooming for retailers, 41 percent of users bought something via their mobile device after visiting a bricks-and-mortar store. Price was the main differentiator for 31 percent of consumers to shop online.

Nineteen percent of users bought online after shopping in-store because a product was not in stock and 13 percent said that check-out lines were too long.

“We expect mobile commerce, loyalty and rewards programs to converge as this trend is driven by players like Apple Passbook, Google Wallet, LevelUp, Square, Isis and merchants with MCX,” Mr. Snyder said.

“The race to own how consumers store loyalty, reward and gift cards and how they pay for goods and services will intensify and ultimately influence the types of deals and products that get positioned best, and will ultimately diminish the value of shelf space in physical stores,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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