Voice of the Customer

New research from Centre for Retail Research (CRR) and (the UK’s largest voucher website) has found the true cost of not going mobile – with UK retailers collectively sacrificing £6.6bn per year due to lack of investment into their mobile offering.

The study also looked at mobile trends more widely, highlighting consumer concerns and also what mobile features would encourage greater interaction with brands.

Key highlights:

  • 15% of consumers now use their mobile as a primary shopping device.  What’s more, consumers with a propensity to shop on mobile are also more prolific online spenders overall, making 47% more transactions (14 compared to 9.5) and spending 55% more than purely online shoppers
  • Almost half of shoppers (44%) would be more likely to visit mobile-oriented stores and more than a third (36%) would also spend more. Augmented reality was an important factor, with a quarter (24%) of shoppers saying that this would make them more likely to shop and spend more in store
  • A more personalised experience using intel taken from online shopping habits would encourage consumers to spend an extra £9.40 per trip, and pop-up notifications alerting consumers to most relevant products or discounts would make them spend an additional £9.80 per visit
  • While almost a quarter (23%) of consumers love mRetailing, 40% still feel this could be improved, while a third don’t currently like using their mobile to shop.
  • Slow loading pages (64%), websites that freeze (49%) and too many products to sift through (46%) are the top three barriers for shoppers using mobile. Security (43%) and poor payment options (35%) were also a concern.
  • Despite retailers reporting their share of mobile sales almost doubled from 2013 to 2014, one fifth (17%) still have no mobile offering
  • The most mobile friendly retailers are supermarkets (80%), department stores (75%) and pharmacy / chemists (75%)
  • Retailers estimate that they would lose 22% of sales due to a poor mobile-enhanced website, and 26% of sales due to a poor mobile application
  • Only 16% of retail applications were used ‘a lot’ by consumers, and one quarter (27%) had been downloaded and never used

Claire Davenport, Managing Director, said: “The growth of online and mobile spending has already had a hugely positive impact on the retail sector. However, there is still a great opportunity being missed – and it is worth billions for retailers. Customers have expressed their intention to spend more on mobile devices, so now is the time to revisit mobile strategy to capitalise on this.

“In light of the continuing fall in foot traffic across high street stores, it’s encouraging to see that there are mobile features that can help attract consumers back into shops to spend. A combination of more established features, like click and collect, and forward-thinking technologies like augmented reality are spiking consumer interest. Customers have indicated they want a personalised experience, so retailers should use data from online purchasing to drive strategy in-store.

“A key outtake from our research is the importance of simplicity and a seamless experience. Of customers that use mobile as their primary shopping device, almost half (44%) said they did so because it was convenient.

“Problems like slow loading sites and poor payment options are preventing consumers from getting to the point of purchase. An astounding 40% feel mobile retail could be improved – retailers could potentially monetise this group if they improved their offering.

“In light of Google’s recent announcement that it is changing its algorithm to adapt to the growing number of people using mobile for search, it is even more crucial that retailers update their mobile strategy.”

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