Company News • 10.12.2014

Slow retail apps and websites cause one in three to shop elsewhere

European shoppers favour omni-channel approach this Christmas

Slow retail apps and websites cause one in three to shop elsewhere...
Source: panthermedia.net / Oleksandr Dibrova

Dynatrace announced the findings of a survey of 4,548 smartphone and tablet owners, looking at their attitudes and approaches to shopping over the Christmas period.

The survey was conducted by local research agencies in the United Kingdom, France and Germany. A separate survey was conducted in the United States by Harris Poll, providing a global perspective on consumer buying trends.

Key findings include:

  • Web and mobile shopping isn't just a piece of the pie, it's the main course for many: over a third (42%) of European shoppers said they will do most of their shopping online; while a further 33% will use a combination of mobile, online and in-store. In the US, setting the trend, 52% of millennials (adults aged 18-34) say they will do more shopping on their devices than they will through in-store purchases. Recently released Thanksgiving and Black Friday statistics, not part of this survey, revealed that Walmart.com traffic was 70% mobile and 52% mobile overall for this shopping season in the US.
  • Patience for poor performance is fading: 35% of surveyed European shoppers would be likely to abandon a slow mobile experience and shop elsewhere if it fails to load in three seconds or less, compared to 46% in the US.
  • Poor mobile experiences are damaging reputations: 42% of shoppers said that they are likely to complain on social media or leave negative app store reviews after a poor experience with a retailer's mobile site or app. The detailed results are 37% in the UK, 33% in Germany and 61% in France. By contrast, 44% US shoppers are likely to voice their frustration.

"The message from these findings is loud and clear: mobile is a primary sales channel and customers are very unforgiving over a poor experience," said Erwan Paccard, Solution Marketing Manager Mobile & Omni-channel at Dynatrace. "During the run up to the biggest sales period of the year, this signifies a huge risk to retailers. Digital channels demand an equally strong level of planning and commitment as physical stores. The good news is, when they are well executed, websites and mobile apps barely need additional staff on duty for this important period."

When looking at shopping habits, the research showed that consumers are taking an increasingly omnichannel approach to their buying habits. This is not just in terms of how they choose to actually purchase items, but along the whole buyer journey from selection to gratification.

Specifically, we can see the following:

  • Consumers take a multichannel approach to shopping: 33% of shoppers will combine mobile, online and in-store.
  • Shoppers supplement in-store experience with mobile: Over half (58%) of shoppers said they will use their smartphone or tablet to compare prices, download coupons and read reviews whilst shopping in-store. Comparable figures apply in the UK, Germany, France and the US.
  • Young shoppers more likely to use mobiles while in-store: 64% of UK respondents aged 16-34 said they would search for deals on their mobile while in-store, compared to just 36% of 55-64 year olds, implying a growing trend in the future.
  • Browsing in-store to buy online a significant trend: 60% of consumers said that they are likely to look for products in-store they will later purchase online; again, this figure grew to 65% amongst the 25-44 age bracket within the UK.

The research also looked into how people prefer to shop and browse when using their mobile devices. Here we can see:

  • Mobile websites beat apps in Europe, but not in the US: 39% of UK and France respondents prefer using mobile apps over mobile websites. In the US, a majority prefers mobile apps (56%). Germany is far behind those figures ¡V only a 16% of surveyed shoppers would prefer mobile apps.
  • Things could be changing: 56% of UK respondents aged 16-24 prefer apps to mobile websites, aligning with the US data. 33% of Germans aged 18-29 and 43% of French aged 18-24 have a preference for mobile apps. Preferences also differ between regions, with Londoners showing the biggest inclination towards apps (48%).

"As a retailer, you really can't think of your customers as web, or mobile or in-store; they are probably using all three. The US is often a key indicator of where the market is going in terms of technology adoption and consumer behaviour," Paccard concludes. "From the adoption of mobile apps over mobile websites, through to the growing use of mobile in all aspects of the buyer journey, mobile is a strategic medium for retailers. Yet the research shows that customer expectations vary across geographies with a general trend towards a multichannel approach; combining online, mobile and in-store in order to find the best deals. As such, brands need to think carefully about their digital strategy across channels to ensure they deliver a seamless and consistent experience to customers, regardless of how they choose to shop and browse."

Source: Dynatrace

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