Mobile devices are not just communication tools or entertainment gadgets; increasingly, they are stores — or shopping whole malls — in your palm or pocket. Most major retailers now provide mobile-optimized versions of their web store fronts, as well as produce mobile ecommerce applications allowing customers to buy directly form their phones. The goal — whether app- or web-based — is customized experience and optimized interfaces for easy navigation on a small touchscreen.
However, retailers’ visions for consumer mobile shopping are not matching customers’ experiences, according to a Dyn-sponsored survey of consumers’ online shopping experience. Sixty percent of shoppers in our survey said they don’t make purchases on their phones or tablets. And only slightly more than one-third of consumers said they planned make more mobile purchases this year than last.
(If you’re an online retailer (or shop online for that matter), you’ll want a deeper dive into our survey on consumer perceptions of the mobile shopping experience. I’ll be going over this in an upcoming webinar and this whitepaper provides additional context around the data).
The inhibitors to mobile shopping are many, but boil down to speed and trust. More than half of respondents said one of these two factors held them back from making more mobile purchase (speed, at 30%, slightly outranked security). An additional quarter of respondents said they were “just not comfortable” with the mobile ecommerce experience; this could be interpreted as a mix of both familiarity with the interface, as well as trust of the transaction (likely more the former).
Speed, or lack there of, deters online shoppers across every type of device. According to our survey, 3 seconds is the longest most (64%) will wait for a shopping website to load. As for trust, many shoppers do not believe shopping from their phones is secure enough and prefer the perceived safety and security of the traditional online or in-store experience.
However, many of perceptions of mobile shopping security run counter to actual trends in ecommerce cybersecurity and fraud; the majority of individual-targeted cybercrimes are perpetuated against users on PCs vs. mobiles; and cybercriminals are increasingly targeting weak IT systems in physical stores as a way to steal information about customers (who probably felt they were beating the crooks by shopping at the physical store in the first place).
While retailers push store-specific apps as the best way to transact with customers, many shoppers’ experience with a mobile storefront begins with a mobile web site. Optimizing web performance for mobile devices — delivering the right content and user experience to the right form factor — will be critical for retailers to instill the sense of reliability and trust necessary to make online mobile newbies into returning customers.