Smartphone Users Seek More Than Shopping Tools
According to a study from Google, smartphone users are looking to companies’ mobile sites much more for customer service than to conduct sales. And those failing to deliver not only lose sales to competitors but brand equity as well.
According to the study, What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites Today, 55 percent of smartphone users indicated that a frustrating mobile site experience hurts their opinion of a brand overall. Fifty-two percent said it makes them less likely to engage with a company, 48 percent feel frustrated or annoyed by it and 36 percent feel like they’ve wasted their time.
Clearer, simpler and faster are what smartphone users are looking for. According to the study, users want:
- Speed – mobile websites loading in five seconds or less, selected by 81 percent of smartphone owners;
- Store directions or operating hours, 74 percent;
- Store contact information, 64 percent;
- Product information, 61 percent;
- Ability to purchase or place an order, 50 percent;
- Easy access to company’s social networking page, 41 percent.
In terms of features and functions, the study reveals that top among consumers’ desires for mobile sites are: an easy-to-find search bar, 78 percent; needing just one or two clicks for more information, also 78 percent; site adjusting to small screen size, 76 percent; clean and efficient looks, 74 percent; an option to go to the full site version, also 74 percent; non-scrolling forms with not too many fields, 73 percent; an easy way to save information for later, 73 percent; big finger buttons, 69 percent; "click to call" the business, 66 percent; and scrolling in one direction only, either up-down or left-right, 64 percent.
With 72 percent of smartphone owners reporting that they want mobile-friendly sites, 67 percent are more likely to buy on mobile-optimized sites versus ones not optimized and 74 percent will return later to a mobile site that functions well.
"While the research confirms what we already suspected — that mobile users actively seek out and prefer to engage with mobile-friendly sites — it’s a sobering reminder of just how quickly and deeply users attitudes about companies can be shaped by mobile site experiences," said Google on its blog. "Having a great mobile site is no longer just about making a few more sales. It’s become a critical component of building strong brands, nurturing lasting customer relationships, and making mobile work for you."
The study was conducted by e-commerce technology provider Sterling Commerce, a subsidiary of IBM Corp., and research firm SmithGeiger, based on a survey in July of 1,088 U.S. smartphone owners about their mobile commerce preferences.
- Mobile-friendly sites turn visitors into customers – Google
- Give mobile users what they want: clearer, simpler, faster sites – Google
- 72 percent of smartphone owners want mobile-friendly sites – Internet Retailer
- 72 percent of Consumers Expect Brands to Have Mobile-Friendly Sites But 96 percent have been to sites that weren’t mobile-ready – Adweek
Are retailers underestimating the smartphone’s use as a customer service tool? What features and functionality should retailers be emphasizing in building their mobile sites into the ideal shopping tool?