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Almost a third of UK consumers have made a purchase using a mobile website in the past 12 months

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As many as a third of UK consumers have made a purchase using a mobile website this year, and 26% have done the same using an app, according to research of 1000 consumers carried out by EPiServer. However, the study also finds that the mobile internet is not free of frustrations, with as many as 35% of consumers finding logins difficult, whilst 19% find it hard to access the content they’re looking for.

According to the study, the majority of UK consumers (59%) now own a smart phone, 18% own a tablet device, and as many as 67% have used an ‘app’, and 73% have accessed a website using these mobile devices in the past 12 months. When consumers are using the mobile internet they do so for a variety of reasons. More than half (51%) use it to look up directions, 49% to access social networks, 43% use the mobile web to find information about organisations and brands while on the move, and almost a quarter (24%) use it to make online purchases.

“These findings show that consumers are increasingly turning to mobile websites when on the move or looking for information,” explains Maria Wasing, VP of Marketing Europe & Sales Operations, EPiServer. “The rapid development in mobile technology and the quick uptake by consumers of mobile sites and apps means that more and more brands have the opportunity to connect with potential customers, encourage purchases and build brand loyalty. It’s crucial that marketers become aware of the mobile channel in order to maximise their online results”.

While the number of consumers making use of the mobile internet may be on the rise, the picture of how they experience using these mobile sites and apps isn’t entirely rosy. More than a quarter (32%) said they find mobile websites hard to navigate, while 35% said that if a mobile website is hard to use they’ll drop off. Further to that, 15% said they had stopped using a mobile website because it was hard to navigate and 14% indicated that they rarely felt like the mobile version of a website met their expectations.

Unfortunately, consumer frustrations didn’t end there and they are becoming less forgiving of bad mobile experiences. A quarter (25%) said they would try a competitor if the mobile website was not working, while 64% said they’d only give a mobile website an average of three chances to work before moving on.

It’s not all bad news though, as almost half of consumers (46%) would still try to visit a company’s website from their desktop if they couldn’t use it effectively on a mobile device.

“Mobility will start affecting more and more areas of our lives in the next few years and, as this market grows in importance, brands will have to sit up and start paying attention to the needs and frustrations of mobile consumers. I believe that companies that want to engage a wider range of customers will need to treat mobile as an essential platform in the near future. It will be crucial for marketers to work with consumers to achieve the best results for their brands,” commented Wasing.

The EPiServer report can be downloaded here
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