OPERATIONS

Study: 88% of consumers have negative mobile shopping experiences

BY Marianne Wilson

San Francisco — The trend to shop on smartphones is growing, with 71% of smartphones owners saying they shop using their mobile device, according to a report by Scava, a provider of mobile, tablet and in-store technologies. However, mobile shopping experiences fail to meet consumer satisfaction, as 88% of those who shop on their smartphone have experienced negative issues.

When asked about their biggest pain points when shopping on mobile, mobile shoppers responded:

  • Retailers’ websites are harder to navigate and use on a mobile than on a desktop (51%);
  • Product images are too small to make buying decision (46%);
  • Concerns over security on their smartphone (41%); and
  • Checkout process is a pain (26%).

Other challenges that were revealed in the “Skava Consumer Mobile Shopping Survey” included concerns over data usage costs, difficulties in adding coupon codes and mobile website speed. Interestingly, some shoppers believe that products are more expensive on a mobile website, while others claimed concerns over clicking the wrong buttons when making purchases.

“The sudden rise in the number of visitors accessing retailer’s websites from mobile took many retailers by surprise and they quickly created a mobile as a first response, but the initial bounce rates were high and conversion rates low leaving many retailers thinking that people didn’t have an appetite to buy from mobile,” said Arish Ali, Skava co-founder and president. “It isn’t just about putting a mobile website out there – it is about building an experience that is easy for customers to use and takes into consideration the unique attributes of mobile devices. Achieving significant conversion rates on mobile is possible. Amazon, a constant threat to traditional retailer, generated $4bn in sales through mobile last year. ”

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H&M eyes August for U.S. online launch

BY CSA STAFF

H&M is finally tackling the online market, and plans to launch an e-commerce site in the U.S. in August.

The timing of the move for a brand synonymous with affordable fashion is opportune because it coincides with the heart of the back-to-school shopping season and sets the stage for the company to drive online sales during the holiday season.

The company, which runs an online site where consumers can browse through product offerings, is investing in IT, online sales and new brands in an effort to broaden its range. Come August, consumers will be able to purchase merchandise online, and the company stands to reach existing customers who prefer the convenience of online shopping, as well as potential new customers who don’t have convenient access to one of the 268 stores the company operates in 30 states.

“There is great potential in the growing online market. We are looking forward to launching our online sales in the U.S. in August. In parallel, we are continuing our work on the global rollout of H&M’s online store, with the aim of adding several new online countries during 2014,” said CEO Karl-Johan Persson. Persson did not identify other countries in the company’s plans for its online launch, but with a global portfolio of 2,900 stores in 49 countries, the company has plenty to choose from.

The announcement was made in conjunction with the company’s release of its first half-year sales for the period ended May 31, which increased by 5% compared to the same period last year. The company also indicated the second half of the year is off to a good start as well. A successful start for the company’s & Other Stories brand, as well as continued good performance by its Cos brand, have bolstered the company’s sales for the month with an increase of 14% in local currencies, compared to the same period last year.

H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB operates the H&M brand as well as Cos, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday, & Other Stories and H&M Home.

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OPERATIONS

Report: Smartphone usage driving shift to more seamless, personal interactions

BY Marianne Wilson

Atlanta — Around the world, consumers want it all, and they want it in the palm of their hand. According to a global study released by First Data, consumers worldwide expect strikingly similar mobile and technology-powered experiences from large and small businesses as well as financial institutions – and their expectations are fueled by skyrocketing smartphone usage.

The goal of First Data’s research is to provide insights into evolving consumer awareness, usage, attitudes and behaviors in traditional in-person and web-based shopping, payments, banking and money management. An online survey was conducted in 10 markets (Brazil, China, Germany, India, Mexico, the Middle East, Poland, Singapore, United Kingdom, and the U.S.) with nearly 4,000 consumers who had a bank account and either a debit or credit card.

The study, which was conducted in 10 markets, including the United States, China, Brazil and the United Kingdom, reveals that consumers seek three consistent, defining features in their experience:

  • seamlessness and control;
  • tailored and personalized experiences; and
  • a direct connection to other consumers and information through social media and shared online content.

In key findings:

  • Globally, more than half of the respondents said they wanted a seamless experience. Consumers in Brazil, China, India and the Middle East are most interested in the concept of seamlessness.
  • Seventy-one percent expect real-time access to their financial accounts (rating this eight, nine or ten on a 10-point scale), allowing them to make decisions wherever they happen to be. In the U.S., 76% indicated interest in real-time access, representing one of the highest levels of expectations among the countries in the study.
  • Nearly half of consumers would stop using a technology immediately if it was not intuitive, easy and straightforward.
  • Nearly half globally want businesses to get better at targeting ads and offers to them.
  • Fifty-eight percent expect their bank to do a better job of considering their individual circumstances.
  • Half of the global consumers surveyed post reviews online. Those numbers climb to 74% in India and 60% in Germany.
  • More than one half consult social media before making a purchase. Eighty percent of Chinese and Indian consumers surveyed did so, the highest among all markets surveyed.
  • Just about one half say they prefer working with companies that are smart about using social media and technology.

“When we talk about evolving consumer expectations, what we’re really talking about is an expectation of higher levels of service and a drive toward simplicity, with the consumer at the center of it all,” said Larry Drury, chief marketing officer for First Data. “Much of this change in expectations is driven by the proliferation of smartphones, which have fundamentally altered how consumers around the world go about their daily lives. Understanding the impact this has on consumer behavior has profound implications for doing business today.”

Further information is available in Executive Summary: First Data 2013 Global Universal Commerce Consumer Tracker Study.

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