Jun 10, 2013 Dave King
To stay competitive in today's business environment, launching a mobile app is practically a necessity. Without a way for customers to get deals, look up product information and make payments from their smartphones or tablets, many companies are likely to find their revenues lagging. Consumers want to do business in new and convenient ways, so it behooves retailers to get on board. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that simply cobbling together an app isn't enough.
According to Mobile Commerce Daily, a recent study from Jumio shows that if users aren't able to quickly and easily complete a transaction once they're on the mobile app, they're likely to abandon the pursuit. The firm's 2013 Mobile Commerce Insights found that 47 percent of mobile users ending up not making a purchase after they felt the process was taking too long, and another 41 percent opted not to finish because it was too difficult to enter the information for the credit, debit or ACH cards.
In total, 68 percent of smartphone and tablet users said they had attempted to make a purchase from their phones, but nearly as many - 66 percent - also admitted to ending a transaction before it was completed.
"Retailers need to adjust for the small screen to make it easy for consumers in the home stretch," said Marc Barach, chief strategy and marketing officer at Jumio. "Companies often employ the same strategy on both mobile and desktop, which means retailers are missing the mark on what consumers want – a convenient, painless way to conduct transactions on the go."
Another important consideration for retailers should be security-focused. Jumio found that 51 percent of consumers decided against actually completing their transaction when they realized they needed to enter their financial information. Retailers and mobile developers alike should continue prioritizing these concerns - no consumer wants to experience negative affects on their consumer credit report, and they will avoid making purchases they don't feel are safe. Store owners should do their part to communicate how these payments work and that they have taken the necessary security precautions, as it may boost the number of individuals utilizing their apps.
Design flaws thwart purchases
Mobile Commerce Daily columnist Carissa Ganelli noted that design may play an equally large role in whether shoppers take advantage of their mobile tools. She noted that SeeWhy research discovered that 97 percent of mobile carts are abandoned, and not simply because the consumer decided he or she didn't want the items. She explained that many times, these carts are very cluttered and involve navigating a large number of screens, which can be especially disruptive on a smartphone or tablet. She pointed out that, for instance, that checking out a mobile purchase at Barnes & Noble means going through 19 screens, which is higher than the average 12. The company with the most streamlined experience, Staples, still had six pages.
When a customer is using a phone or tablet to buy a product, he or she is likely on the go, which is supposed to be the purpose of using a mobile payment tool - buying something at a moment's notice can be both enjoyable and necessary. Without the right level of optimization, the appeal of mobile shopping evaporates.
What can be done?
In order for retailers to make the most out of their next-generation solutions, they can't just focus on getting the technologies out there. If the quality is lacking, the potential ROI will simply not be realized. On the other hand, if creating a great experience is the priority, rather than just throwing something together for the sake of appearances, the revenues may follow.