A Mobile Commerce Roundup from eMarketer underscores a key point about the role of mobile devices in eCommerce: consumers’ growing willingness to shop and buy via smartphone is something retailers know they can’t ignore. But at the same time, giving shoppers a satisfying eCommerce experience doesn’t come easily, and many retailers are still looking for solutions.
– According to eMarketer’s report, Americans will use smartphones and tablets to make purchases totaling $156.3 billion this year, giving mobile a 34.5% share of all U.S. eCommerce.
– Through the first nine months of 2017, U.S. consumers had spent $436.1 billion electronically, according to the Census Bureau – up 10% year-over-year from 2016. Sales at bricks and mortar retail outlets had grown just 3.8%.
– 60% of North American retailers said they already had a mobile website, and 53% had an app. But most are worried they aren't getting eCommerce right. Only 36.7% of retailers said their mobile shopping sites are “working well.” They rated their apps' performance even lower, with 26.4% satisfied.
– From shoppers' perspective, the biggest problem with mobile eCommerce is the small size of mobile screens, cited by 33.7% of respondents.
– On the other hand, 64% of respondents said what they like most about mobile shopping is the “flexibility to buy at any time.” That size vs. portability tradeoff is a given of the mobile era, and an on-the-go public has voted overwhelmingly for portability. Other barriers to easy eShopping are slow data, cited by 17%, and limited WiFi access, at 15.8%.
With 136.3 million Americans having made mobile purchases in 2016, it’s reasonable to infer that there are big rewards for getting mobile eCommerce right. The same dynamic applies to consumer insights. But you can't just check "mobile" off your list of research tactics and assume it's working well for you. Here are some tips for shopping for mobile solutions:
– First, you aren't shopping for a commodity. Experience, innovation and quality all count in the mobile realm, and if price alone is your guide, you’ll end up getting what you paid for – both in technology and in panel quality.
– Like mobile shoppers, mobile survey participants want performance that isn’t hampered by a poor display, unreliable connections, and slow downloads and uploads of survey questions and related multimedia content. The most advanced mobile solutions take all of these into account and address them successfully. Find them!
– Distinguish between mobile methodology that involves a “native” app, which embeds the survey instantly into the respondent’s phone, and other approaches, usually called "mobile web" or "mobile optimized." These require a connection to the internet, and expose research participants to the data and connectivity problems cited by mobile shoppers.
– Issues stemming from the small screen must be addressed with solutions that reward respondents with a clear display of questions on a single screen, and no need for tiresome scrolling to move through the survey. Don't choose a provider who can't deliver engaging functionality, and make sure you're not just buying technology, but a commitment to client service to ensure you'll get the expert guidance you need to get your mobile projects right.
Above all, savvy mobile solutions shoppers will come to the conversation with a very specific project in mind. Share the details of what you're trying to accomplish, and why. Expert providers will give you a straight answer as to whether it's feasible. To have that conversation today, just get in touch by clicking here.