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Merchants need to improve the mobile shopping experience

Many sectors are under-performing and have a long way to go to in delivering the optimum consumer experience.

Mobile has become central to the consumers’ experience of the Internet and has become a mainstream shopping tool. BuzzCity’s latest survey shows that more than three quarters (80 per cent) of mobile users now browse or buy with their devices as consumer confidence in mobile improves – a growth of 20 percentage points since 2013.

buzzcity graph

The driver for this is the convenience of mobile, as nearly one in five (16 per cent) expect more than 50 per cent of their overall spend to be via a mobile device and at least 38 per cent considering the use of mobiles for their overall shopping.

Despite consumer austerity of the last year, Computers & Electronics (19 per cent), Clothing & Accessories (13 per cent) and Travel (11 per cent) remained among the top online purchases.The variety of products offered& bought over mobile has grown and 14 per cent of mobile consumers shopped for ‘Others’ online.

The expanded variety of products include Crafts & Hobby items (5 per cent), Health Care (5 per cent – including products for Child Care, Elder Care and Pharmaceuticals), 4 per cent for vehicles or vehicle parts and 3 per cent for Shopping Vouchers.

While growth is expected to continue, key to sustainable development is the continued improvement of the shopping experience on mobile.

While the convenience of mobile covers a broad spectrum of expected services, variety (20 per cent), the experience of discovery (18 per cent) and ease of access with their devices (16 per cent) remain top consideration among consumers.

These factors again emphasise the need for mobile centric design, especially, personalised customer relationship management, as m-commerce becomes mainstream over the next year or so.

Key Takeaways
1. Online shopping, particularly mobile, continues to influence in-store purchases. Merchants are advised to look beyond online sales and to also measure the various drivers of footfalls to their stores; these should include their own properties and other online referrals. This will reveal how the consumer journey is split over multiple screens and help to develop a better all round experience. We note that the majority of mobile sales are only in three key categories, which suggests that other sectors are under-performing and have a long way to go to in delivering the optimum consumer experience.

2. Successful m-commerce sites have strong user experiences that integrate elements such as browsability, buyability and mobile centric design.

3. Mobile sites are as much for browsing products and services as they are for sales. Merchants must find a way of simplifying this process to allow the user to make a purchase in just a few steps.

4. Merchants can take their mobile strategy to another level by introducing mobile exclusive offers – deals which are only offered to those users interacting with the brand through a mobile tactic (e.g. apps). These can be effective in increasing the popularity of mobile commerce applications and building customer loyalty.

The latest BuzzCity survey is part of an ongoing study on consumer shopping habits and includes data taken from 20,000 mobile surfers across 17 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and The Americas. The survey was conducted between November 19 and December 27, 2015.

KF Lai

Dr KF Lai is the Chief Executive Officer of Buzzcity
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