Survey: Mobile users need speed

Oct 26, 2015

According to a global survey from Adobe, overall satisfaction on mobile app and mobile browser experiences with retailers was just under 50 percent.

The survey of 4,000 consumers spread equally across the U.S., U.K., France and Germany found consumers in each region spent the majority of their time reviewing online promotions, using keyword searches, and researching product and price information. This is especially true for so-called mobile elites, Millennials and Gen X consumers, who rely more heavily on reviews than older generations.

To better gauge where consumers place the bar for experience, Adobe asked survey respondents to rate how important several elements are to their overall mobile app and website experiences such as digital coupons, price checking, convenience, achieving goals in a few steps and personalized content. The majority of consumers, including 71 percent of U.S. mobile elites, rated convenience as the most important element to their mobile app experience, with Germany as the exception.

"Highly detailed product pages and multiple layers of navigation may seem important to companies, but these practices only serve to frustrate today’s consumers who expect lightning-fast results," wrote Adobe in the report.

mobile issues

Price checking and receiving digital coupons were also rated as important. Interestingly, personalized content rates the least important to shoppers in all four countries.

Adobe said personalization can still be a differentiating factor in a price-driven retail marketplace. As an example, product recommendations or coupons based on purchase history, interests, or even location can increase the convenience factor for consumers. Still, Adobe said its findings indicate, "Consumers desire all the perks of a convenient mobile shopping experience and a guarantee from marketers that there is clear value in offering up their personal information."

Overall, the survey found the top retail activities smartphone users did at least once a week were:

  • Receiving online promotions, specials or coupons: 60 percent;
  • Researching specific product and price information, 55 percent;
  • Using keywords for products, 53 percent;
  • Checking order status, 51 percent;
  • Comparing product and price by different retailers, 50 percent;
  • Registering online for offers and promotions using your mobile device, 46 percent;
  • Checking in-store features, 45 percent;
  • Reading customer information with friends, 43 percent;
  • Sharing product information with friends, 43 percent;
  • Purchasing a product using your mobile device, 41 percent;
  • Viewing visual information, 40 percent.


What are the biggest frustrations in the mobile shopping experience? What should near-term and longer-term strategies be for improving the mobile experience?

"One well-intended fix — presenting a more personalized, streamlined selection of offerings to each customer — backfires for me. I can’t help thinking about what alternatives are being withheld."

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8 Comments on "Survey: Mobile users need speed"

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Max Goldberg
2 years 6 months ago

The biggest frustrations remain failure to optimize the browsing experience for mobile devices and too many layers to get to desired information. Retailers need to streamline their websites for mobile so consumers can quickly find what they are looking for, read it on a small screen and complete their desired tasks. Over time, as a retailer gets to know a consumer, it can add customized offers. Eventually I hope that retailers bring together search, purchase, delivery of coupons and payment in one easy-to-use app or via their mobile-optimized websites.

Bob Phibbs
2 years 6 months ago

So they want their coupons and discounts to load fast is the thrust of this survey. If that is the customer you seek, it would seem less about the “experience” and more about being like Amazon.

I would challenge that if everyone is going after that market of dirt-scratchers, your brand should find another way to find profitable customers who will pay more and do more for your brand.

As I referenced in yesterday’s post, Stop Trying To Speedily Close The Sale. Slow Down When Selling Retail Or You’re Toast, slow selling is the key to higher profits. Stores that slow the shopper down and involve more storytelling saw a 20 to 40 percent rise in sales. That isn’t about quicker clicks to encourage discounts.

If mobile can help achieve slower, more meaningful engagement, great — but I think the heart of mobile is at odds with profitable retailing in 2015.

Tom Redd
2 years 6 months ago

I am with Bob Phibbs … Slow it down and leverage storytelling. Relating the buyer to a person in a similar circumstance is a deal-closer. Teaching store teams to do this and tuning content to push this area is what can out-power mobile. Story scenarios travel a long way among shoppers.

Gordon Arnold
2 years 6 months ago

My own typical 3G and 4G agonizingly slow speed experience is almost always additionally hampered with irrelevant information that is hard to read. Bigger smartphones that take two hands to hold and cost a fortune aren’t helping much at all. Companies buying the stuff that doesn’t work might start using it themselves for a while before paying for or signing off on it. It is better to have nothing than to pay for something that alienates the targeted consumer and is rarely used successfully.

Michael Greenberg
Michael Greenberg
2 years 6 months ago

Mobile is used to accomplish tasks quickly, while you are thinking about it. Look at the list again and reconsider those as a consumer standing in a retail store or checking email/FB/Twitter while standing in line at Chipotle.

Retailers need to stop thinking of mobile as a small website, and build around tasks. Talk to your customers, they’ll tell you that.

Vahe Katros
2 years 6 months ago

Probably the biggest frustration is connecting to a retailer that doesn’t have an application designed for mobile. The challenges relating to building native applications are being addressed by responsive web site tools like Adobe Experience Manager (near term) but long term, I believe shoppers will want more than browsing, they’ll want interactivity that helps the shopping process.

James Tenser
2 years 6 months ago

A major issue with mobile shopping has to be screen real estate. On larger tablets this can be made tolerable, but on phones it forces a crucial compromise — the multiple layers referenced by others here.

One well-intended fix — presenting a more personalized, streamlined selection of offerings to each customer — backfires for me. I can’t help thinking about what alternatives are being withheld.

Certain uses come naturally — ordering a prescription refill for example. Or maybe triggering a standing grocery order. Comparison shopping for apparel or electronics is just too frustrating from my perspective.

So like so many brilliant retail innovations — mobile shopping is a win for a slice of transactions but a bust for many others. Like all new media (says the sage McLuhan) it displaces, not replaces, the old.

Shep Hyken
2 years 6 months ago

Anything online needs to be fast, easy and intuitive. The customer won’t wait. They don’t like feeling out of control or confused. The online experience, and in this case mobile, must be designed with simplicity in mind. The experience on a desktop should cross over to mobile. Anything less will be an inconsistent experience that can erode confidence and potentially lose your customers.

"One well-intended fix — presenting a more personalized, streamlined selection of offerings to each customer — backfires for me. I can’t help thinking about what alternatives are being withheld."

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