New Stats Show How Critical the Mobile Experience is for E-Commerce

Categories Mobile, Retail

Just how important is the mobile shopping experience? Consider this: the mobile channel’s contribution to retail sales rose from 3.4% to 6.5% between October 2010 and April 2011, according to studies by Coremetrics cited by eMarketer. And, even though mobile purchases are still a fraction of overall sales, consumers increasingly use their mobile devices to research purchases before buying elsewhere. That means the importance of retail mobile websites is only growing.

With that in mind, here’s a look at some of our own numbers. Limelight Networks recently surveyed 520 consumers who self-identified as owning a smartphone or tablet and using that mobile device to research and/or purchase products online. In that group, a full 80% said they typically abandon a mobile site if the shopping experience isn’t up to par. Roughly three quarters of those who abandon ship said they are likely to return to the site later on a computer.¬†However, about one quarter said they prefer to seek out a different site to continue shopping.¬†In addition, roughly 20% of total respondents said they aren’t likely to abandon a mobile site in the middle of shopping, but that they are likely to avoid a poor-performing mobile site in the future.

In our survey, we also looked at some of the criteria that are important for defining a positive mobile shopping experience. Here’s what respondents had to say:

  • 88% ranked the time it takes for the site to load or appear on the screen as extremely important or important
  • 88% ranked providing detailed product images on the site (for example, “zoom in” product photography or product videos) as extremely important or important
  • 82% ranked mobile site optimization, or how the site appropriately fits the screen (for example, no side-to-side scrolling), as extremely important or important
These numbers suggest that expectations for the mobile shopping experience are beginning to mirror expectations on a PC. There is no mobile web as far as consumers are concerned. There is only the web. And it has to perform well.
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