Shoppers Still Reluctant To Make Retail Purchases On Mobile: Forrester Report

touch screen mobile phone in a hands

Consumers are still reluctant to buy products on their mobile phones despite the ubiquity of the devices and internet connectivity according to a study commissioned by US online retailer RetailMeNot.

One major insight the study provides is that while today’s consumers overwhelmingly prefer to access the internet on their mobile devices, only 30 per cent use retailer applications to purchase products.

Despite this, the results make it clear that marketers appreciate the potential of mobile — however, they are struggling to get consumers to download and use their apps. The study found that the vast majority of consumers (80 per cent) have at least one retailer app on their phone, demonstrating signficant potential.

“Retailers’ mobile strategies need to encompass more than just their app and web site — they must also reach extended mobile audiences engaged in the shopping or browsing process,” said Michael Jones, senior vice president, retailer and brand solutions for RetailMeNot. “I believe that this study conducted by Forrester Consulting clearly shows that retailers who involve partners like RetailMeNot, that already own and can share consumers’ mobile moments, are on a pathway towards success.”

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“This Forrester study focuses on mobile as the most important touch point for retailers to win, serve and retain customers,” said Jones. “Whether consumers are shopping in-store, online or while time shifting on their smart phone or tablet device, retailers’ mobile experiences must meet consumer expectations.”

Among the findings:

  • Smartphones are quickly becoming the first screen for consumers — even in retail 84 per cent of consumers surveyed use their smartphones while shopping in-store. Internet usage at home, in the living room and common areas is now predominately done utilising a smartphone (83 per cent), surpassing PC/laptop usage (53 per cent) and tablet usage (54 per cent).
  • Coupons continue to be compelling content and have gained more traction as an in-store influencer year-over-year 65 percent of consumers use their smartphones to find coupons online. More than half (55 per cent) of consumers surveyed said they use a smartphone to find a coupon while shopping in-store, and an equal number use their smartphone to redeem a coupon while in-store. In 2015, 49 per cent of digital coupons discovered on smartphones are ultimately used in-store to make a purchase — a 22 per cent increase from 2014.
  • Retailers struggle to get consumers to use their apps Of the US consumers surveyed who have used a mobile phone in the last three months to perform a retail-related activity, 60 per cent have two or fewer retailer apps on their phones, and 21 per cent do not have any. Over half of respondents (56 per cent) use retailer apps once a month or less. Consumers more frequently choose to use a mobile web site to perform the majority of their shopping-related activities — such as purchasing a product, finding a coupon or coupon code or comparing prices with other web sites or stores.

The study argues that retailers can extend their mobile reach through partnerships with the applications customers use most often, helping the retailer to “borrow” mobile moments.

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