What (Mobile) Shoppers Want, (Mobile) Shoppers Should Get

Posted by Lisa Roberts at 11:25 am in Mobile

Just like we each have our own preferences of how we like our eggs cooked or how we take our coffee, each of us has our own shopping journey. No two shoppers are alike. And, given the multiple avenues in which we can begin and end our customer journey, retailers must be able to satisfy all varying shopping behaviors and in the right channels. Nowhere is that task more important than with the mobile channel.

Mobile devices have almost become like little “pets” that we never want to leave home without, or else we feel like a piece of our soul has gone missing; having a mobile device has become as standard as owning a microwave or television. According to We Are Social’s recent Digital, Social and Mobile in 2015 report, there are more than 3.6 billion unique mobile users in the world. These billions of mobile users use their devices to quickly find products, services and events. In fact, many of those mobile users would rather let their desktops collect dust and utilize their mobile devices on a full-time basis. In comScore’s new 2015 report, 10% of U.S. Internet users only access the Internet on mobile devices. With this type of data, retailers must be able to give mobile shoppers everything they want or risk alienating a growing majority of their customer base.

Mobile is for discovery, desktop is for purchasing

In our recent consumer survey, we wanted to find out exactly how shoppers are using their mobile devices versus the desktop. The majority of shoppers surveyed were clear that the primary purchasing channel they use is not the mobile device, but the desktop. Although mobile commerce sales are rising, consumers still have yet to feel the same comfort level as when shopping via ecommerce. Our survey showed that 48% of mobile shoppers opt to purchase items they find on their mobile devices on their desktop, compared to 27% who purchase items on their phone and 18% that locate and purchase the product in the store.

When thinking about the mobile checkout experience and as options continue to mature, we recommend making it easy for shoppers to save, store and share the products they discover and are considering buying. By connecting products they’ve discovered on their mobile devices to their desktop experience (either via their cart, favorite or saved items or email), retailers can ensure a seamless and memorable shopping experience and a high probability that a sale will convert.

Mobile shoppers want to save their finds to purchase later

When asked what they would most likely do when they find a product on their mobile device that they like, 52% of respondents in our survey reported they would try to save it again in some way (i.e. to their cart or “favorite” items) to purchase at a later date. There was a small contingent (25%) of shoppers who said they would “do nothing” and look for it later when they were ready to buy the product, 21% said they preferred to email the product to themselves and 12% said they would purchase immediately on their mobile devices. Social media made a slight wake in this survey question – 3% of respondents said they would save the product to a Pinterest board and 2% opted to share on social media to save for later.

Unless you are one of the 12% of shoppers that would buy a product immediately, most consumers would rather think about their potential purchases, so retailers should make it easy to not only save those products but to gently remind customers of those would-be purchases.

When thinking about how to help mobile shoppers finalize the consumer journey and convert the sale, we recommend using the mobile experience to create inroads back to a brand from as many places as possible. Success will follow if retailers implement measures to track the cross-channel impact and morph their mobile goals to reflect the behaviors they are encouraging.

Bottom line: Retailers should make it simple yet inspiring for shoppers to shop on mobile, and then allow them to seamlessly purchase wherever they feel most comfortable. Mobile conversions should be a goal, but retailers must not let this goal keep them from offering shoppers ways to save and share products they discover and intend to buy.

See the full results of our consumer survey: 5 Key Opportunities to Improve the Mobile Shopping Experience & Address Buying Challenges.

lisa roberts

Lisa Roberts is a 15-year Ecommerce vet who’s worked with technology innovators, including Edgecase, who are building real solutions for hard retailer problems. Her experience working inside a retailer, agency-side and vendor-side give her a unique perspective on how to innovate at the pace of consumer evolution while remaining focused on delivering proven results.

Follow Lisa Roberts on Twitter @lisadoesaustin

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