The Problem with Mobile Shopping

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Online stores are leaving money on the table. With a few changes to their mobile presence, retailers could be improving conversions. There are currently 2.6 billion smartphone users around the world — and this number is expected to more than double by 2020. Mobile is no longer an “emerging trend,” it is a reality that’s here to stay. And mobile shopping is growing exponentially. According to the Demandware Shopping Index, phones represented more than 90% of shopping site growth in the first quarter of 2016. More and more people are shopping primarily on mobile.

What is really interesting is that time spent per visit has actually declined by 9% over the past year. In this dual scenario of short attention spans and exploding mobile traffic, mobile shopping applications must optimize the user experience in order to monetize visits and convert visitors into loyal customers. This is the reality that retailers, both online and offline, must meet.

At Instart Logic, we recently conducted a survey of online shoppers to uncover the barriers consumers face while shopping online. The survey intended to uncover why, with mobile traffic trending up so sharply, there isn’t a corresponding increase in mobile purchases. We found nearly 50% of survey respondents would research a product on a phone, but then make the purchase using a desktop or laptop computer.

When a customer feels it necessary to switch devices as an additional step in the purchasing process, it reduces the likelihood they’ll finish making their purchase. Fewer sales means less revenue.

Our study found two key barriers customers face browsing retail mobile applications: suboptimal user experience, and security concerns.

Customers faced with slow load times and difficult navigation over mobile prefer to complete their purchases on their desktop computer or laptop, with the wider screen, easier navigation and faster network speeds. Furthermore, given the huge variety of store options available online, if relevant content is not available fast enough, shoppers abandon slow sites and go elsewhere.

We all know that site performance impacts revenue. In other words, improved loading time is a key factor in converting visitors to customers and retaining them. The quality of the user experience is as important as the quality of the merchandise offered.

We also found users perceived shopping on mobile to be less secure than shopping with a desktop or laptop. Customers are concerned about storing and accessing their credit card information on mobile. Not addressing these concerns is leaving money on the table, as 43% of those surveyed said they would shop more on mobile if they felt the experience was more secure.

Online stores need to understand that applications with fast load times, evident, full-featured security, and straightforward navigation will lead to greater revenue. What retailers need to grasp is that a mobile-first digital strategy is key.

We are helping Demandware customers to optimize the performance and improve the user experience of mobile applications based on end user client-side characteristics. The solution counters the challenge of consumers’ multi-device purchasing habits – browse on mobile, purchase on laptop – improving successful mobile conversion rates. The solution provides retailers the following benefits:

  • It automatically optimizes application delivery at runtime, ensuring visitors get individually-tailored user experiences.
  • It is easy, requiring no changes to site or application code. Retailers can focus on merchandise quality and building rich user experiences.
  • It is very scalable and adaptable to all types of sites and applications. Retailers can add complexity or modify code without worrying about the impact to the application’s performance.
  • It is highly secure and PCI-compliant application delivery, ensuring applications are not under threat or vulnerable to malware.

With speed, security and a clean, organized app being the biggest concerns inhibiting customers from purchasing on their mobile devices, retailers must improve these factors in order to elevate the user experience and not miss out on potential revenue.