MarketingCharts: Convenience, Features Drive Selection of Retailer Sites Over Apps

Discussion
Aug 13, 2012

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from MarketingCharts, a Watershed Publishing publication providing up-to-to-minute data and research to marketers.

For mobile owners who prefer using a website than an application when shopping on their device, convenience/ease (39 percent) and additional features (21 percent) are the primary reasons for doing so, according to a survey released by Adobe. Other reasons chosen for preferring a website include navigation (10 percent), look/feel (7 percent), speed (4 percent), security and reliability (each at 3 percent).

When asked what information is most helpful when purchasing a product on a mobile website or app, product information and price was the top choice, at roughly three in five respondents, followed by easy checkout and customer ratings/reviews, each with a slight majority, according to Adobe’s 2012 Mobile Consumer Survey Results. More than one-third of respondents also said that visual information, the option to purchase using the website or app, and keyword search for products are also helpful.

Asked what visual features increase the likelihood of making a purchase on a mobile device, close to half cited product side-by-side comparisons, followed by a 360-degree spin, zoom/pan, alternative images, and videos.

Other findings:

  • When shopping on mobile websites for consumer products, iPad users reported the highest satisfaction levels, at 75 percent, followed by Amazon Kindle users (73 percent), iPhone users (66 percent), Android tablet users (66 percent) and Android smartphone users (60 percent).
  • Mobile users report that a majority of advertisers are providing mobile-optimized experiences when they click through ads on both mobile websites (73 percent) and mobile apps (77 percent).
  • A high percentage of mobile users surveyed say that they are clicking through mobile ads presented in both mobile websites and apps, with 42 percent clicking through ads on mobile websites, and 37 percent clicking through ads on mobile apps.
  • Men are more likely to click through on mobile ads presented within apps than women (42 percent vs. 32 percent).
  • Mobile owners of each age group identified are more likely to have spent $1-$249 on consumer product purchases via a mobile device than any other amount in the past 12 months. The 18-29 group was the most likely of any age group to have spent this amount, followed by the 30-49 and 50-64 age groups. The age pattern was reversed when it came to larger outlays, though: the oldest group was more likely than the younger groups to have spent more than $750 on their devices in the past year.

Adobe surveyed more than 1,200 mobile users in the U.S. in March 2012. The survey was administered by Keynote Services, and categorized preferences based on gender and age.

Discussion Questions: How would you like to see the mobile shopping experience evolve over the next few years? Which website features work naturally with mobile and which ones do not?

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7 Comments on "MarketingCharts: Convenience, Features Drive Selection of Retailer Sites Over Apps"

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Ken Lonyai
BrainTrust

It’s more than coincidental that Adobe has given up on mobile Flash and is looking to promote its new/future HTML5 tools that some aspects of this survey support. Nevertheless, there’s nothing particularly unexpected with their survey results.

Of course, respondents will answer what they are asked and we don’t know what that was, so the features they claim to like most are the common ones that were likely the answer choices they had to go by. Once enough brands and retailers really commit to mobile, the now commonplace reviews, comparisons, price checks, and AR features are going to require bolstering to keep consumer attention. Otherwise, mobile apps/sites will really become showrooming tools and commoditize brands. Much better integration with the physical store environment, unexpected product/user information, gamification, and premiums, are some ways to change that.

Max Goldberg
BrainTrust

The same attributes that drive today’s mobile shopper drove ecommerce shopping 10 years ago. Consumers want easy access, clear pricing, value, and quick, accurate checkout. This means that retailers need to customize their sites to fit multiple formats: computers, tablet and phone.

The primary concern for consumers is finding what they want, which means easy navigation. Second, there’s only so much room on an iPhone or Android screen, so each page needs to be adjusted to fit the format. Finally, consumers want value, so retailers need to clearly price items and offer value, in pricing or bundling, upfront.

It’s not difficult for a retailer to have an attractive mobile site. The need to follow some common sense rules that maximize the customer experience.

gordon arnold
Guest
The creation of a productive company retail website provides any company with a platform that allows any device the opportunity to visit, explore and participate. Not all qualified retailers understand this and their e-commerce results demonstrate it very clearly. There is also the size and monetary capability of a company to consider in the case of building and supporting a website. The retail cottage industry is an enormous percentage of the present day retail industry and growing daily throughout the world. These small companies are for the most part unable to provide a viable website of their own and have to use third party support and venues to compete. Hardware and software manufactures that are in the business of providing product and services in support of company owned websites look for a high double digit multimillion dollar annual sales figure to justify courting any company as a prospective account. This means that it costs a lot of money to keep a competitive private website current in the hardware and software capabilities sought out by the consumer. Ease of use, pertinent product and pricing information, scalable visuals with actual size perspective capabilities and, of course, quick and easy checkout are all… Read more »
Brian Numainville
BrainTrust

Shopping on a mobile has to be easy — the screen real estate is much smaller so it has to be optimized to provide a seamless shopping experience rather than forcing a shopper to expand and contract and scroll around a web site on a phone. But I do believe that mobile shopping will continue to grow and in many cases that it may be the ONLY way a shopper accesses the Internet.

Martin Mehalchin
BrainTrust

Very few consumers want to clutter their devices with apps from dozens of different retailers, so mobile web is definitely going to be the dominant interface. There are two key scenarios that mobile shopping needs to support. The first is shopping remotely (from home or office) via the device. Here, ease of finding the desired product and ease of checkout are key, just as they are on a desktop site.

The second scenario is supporting and enriching the experience of shopping in the store. This is where we are more likely to see innovation, and a few “fails,” over the next few years as retailers and their mobile agencies devise new ways to keep the smartphone-carrying customer in their store’s longer and spending more.

Gene Detroyer
BrainTrust

More than anything else, the change to online shopping has been driven by convenience, not price. As mobile shopping becomes easier, read “more convenient,” more sales will be driven online.

The challenge for the retailer is to make that the mobile purchase is from the retailer’s product. A retailer must be indifferent to where they sell their products from.

Mark Price
BrainTrust

Mobile shopping tends to be more functional right now — figure out what you need and get it ordered with the least amount of hassle possible. Over time, the demand will be for more content (comparisons, reviews, detailed product info, product recommendations) to help consumers make their decisions, in addition to the findings/ordering part.

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