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Mobile Use In The Retail Channel

Mobile is having an increased impact on online shopping at some point in the process even if it is not the means of actually purchasing items.

Mobile journeys need to be understood and analysed in their own right, but also need to be viewed in the context of the different ways mobile is used as part of a multichannel interaction. This may mean a number of different journeys that cover the goals of users who use mobile as a support function rather than as their primary interaction device.

It has long been a truism of usability that the more “personal” the medium, the greater the emotional response to the message. A mobile phone is a much more personal item than a website, and users are likely to react much more stronger to problems encountered when using on. Users are more likely to be using mobiles in more stressful circumstances, such as when travelling or standing in a crowded place rather than sitting comfortably in front of a screen, so add to that the fact the the connection quality on many mobile services is much worse than on a desktop PC and you already have set of less forgiving customers before they have even set eyes on your content.

With mobile design and m-commerce still in its infancy compared to web design and eCommerce many organisations seem content to “learn as they go” or “suck it and see” and this is a very dangerous approach to take. Of course there are always lessons to learn, but the latest research figures from Forsee show how the mobile elements have a huge impact on brand perception, and bottom line, and cannot afford to be neglected in this way.

Forsee found that:

Satisfied mobile customers report being 40% more likely than dissatisfied mobile customers to consider the same company when purchasing from other channels such as a traditional website or store (88% vs. 63%)

Satisfied mobile customers, those with scores of 80 or higher on ForeSee’s E-Retail Satisfaction Index, are also 54% more likely than their dissatisfied counterparts (with scores of 69 or lower) to consider the company the next time they are making a similar purchase (91% vs. 59%), and twice as likely to purchase from the company’s mobile site in the future (84% vs. 42%).

  • 38% of all web shoppers have used a mobile phone to access a retail website, mobile site or mobile app.
  • 14% of web shoppers visited the mobile site or app of one of the top 40 etailers
  • 34% used a mobile phone to research products
  • 10% used retailer developed mobile apps
  • 19% used phones to compare prices while shopping in person at a store
  • 36% used phones to access store’s own site while shopping in-store and 24% used phones to access a competitors site.
  • 15% use phone to make purchases. (up 11% from last year)
  • 38% have used phone to access a retailers website (up 33% on last year)

One of the most interesting developments in the way mobiles are being used is the ability to reach / target users while they are in competitors stores, something that has not been possible before. 43% of mobile users accessed a competitor’s site while in store and 26% accessed a shopping comparison site.

Monitoring and measurement are crucial to provide realism in this understanding. If you do not understand what your customers are experiencing you cannot understand what to improve, where to improve it and why it should be done.

The thinkTRIBE ethos of providing a “single point of truth”, centred round live user experience monitoring and iPad or Android performance testing:    allows the information from performance monitoring everything from in-server cycles to real in-browser experience to be used and understood at all levels of the organisation: business and technical. This data is immediately actionable for support and operations teams, and also enables wider data driven decisions for purchasing and resource allocation. With numbers clearly showing impact on User Journey performance the financial justification for decisions and requests can be easily demonstrated – a matter of increasing importance as organisations depend on technological performance in all areas of the business.

Website Load Testing – to measure the size of your Online Store

Load testing, that is centred round meaningful journeys that match the usage pattern profiles from your peak sales hours each year,  is a key part of the thinkTRIBE offering to Retailers: many of the big name retailers in the UK rely on these services.

And  mobile website load testing too must be mobile-user realistic;   requiring separate Journeys; and an overall test plan to encompass iPad load testing and Android load testing elements. (With Samsung becoming such a major Android provider, maybe we should rename that Samsung load testing!)