Overall consumer satisfaction with mobile sites has seen an unexpected drop for the first time in eight months, as consumers find the gulf between what they want to do on mobile and what retailers are offering them widen, suggest figures from eDigitalResearch.
The study benchmarked 16 of the UK’s top retail mobile offerings, including some who have not yet adapted their site for use on smartphones. The results show that despite shoppers preferring the familiarity of standard websites, many became frustrated with the small text and difficult to use navigational links, rating the functionality and usability of optimised sites higher than their non optimised counterparts.
In fact, the mCommerce benchmark study found that the overall top score dropped by 3% to 85.7%, as consumers start to shop more from their mobiles and now have higher expectations of mobile sites.
Top scorers were those that continue to develop and improve their sites. ASOS topped the overall league table, providing industry best practice with clear navigational links and compact, yet comprehensive, product pages. Marks and Spencer, Play.com, Amazon and House of Fraser all complete the top 5, having integrated a variety of new features to help make the entire shopping process as seamless as possible.
Comments suggest that mobile shoppers expect a quick and seamless mobile shopping experience and are becoming increasingly frustrated with slow to load pages or sites that are not incorporating basic time saving features, such as postcode look-ups or standard filters on search results. First impressions remains the worst performing sector across the entire study, with top scorer Kiddicare.com only managing to score 81%.
Results also show that there are still some retailers that are continuing to provide mixed messages to mobile shoppers limiting product ranges and only offering click and collect. Worryingly it seems that these retailers are missing out on a huge opportunity with comments suggesting that they would have been confident in making a purchase from these sites had the functionality been available.
Further consumer research from eDigitalResearch found that more than half of all consumers now own a smartphone, with 35% of these already using their phone to shop online and another 18% intending on doing so in the near future, truly driving the remarkable development of mobile commerce.
Derek Eccleston, Research Director at eDigitalResearch, explains the findings: “We are witnessing the dawn of MEcommerce, where the consumer now holds the power in the palm of their hands to dictate to retailers when, where and how they want to shop. As more and more people begin to use their smart phones to shop and browse online, it is crucial that retailers begin to operate in their customers’ spaces, developing mobile sites and investing in mobile strategies as consumer behaviour continues to evolve”.