There is “huge opportunity for retailers with mobile sites and apps,” ForeSee says.
33% of consumers who have shopped the top 40 e-commerce sites in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide have also accessed retail web sites—m-commerce and e-commerce—on their mobile phones; an additional 26% plan to access retail sites on their phones in the future, according to a study released today of 10,000 consumers conducted by ForeSee Results.
Put another way, more than half of online shoppers are either already using or plan to use their phones for retail purposes. This is good news for retailers that have launched sites and apps optimized for mobile phones, ForeSee says. “This finding indicates a huge opportunity for retailers with sophisticated, user-centric mobile sites and apps,” says Kevin Ertell, vice president of retail strategy at ForeSee Results and author of the study.
What’s more, mobile purchase behavior is growing by leaps and bounds. A total of 11% of shoppers in the study made a purchase from their phones this holiday season compared with only 2% during the 2009 holidays.
“Apps and web sites tailored to mobile shoppers are a must-have for retailers,” Ertell says. “As smartphone use increases, more customers will turn to the mobile channel to find price and product information before making a purchase. Whether or not a customer turns to a specific retailer’s site or app will be dependent on availability and ease of use.”
Mobile shoppers are using their phones for a variety of m-commerce tasks, ForeSee finds. The majority of mobile shoppers, 56%, compare prices. 46% compare products, 35% look up product specifications and 27% read customer reviews.
The study also bolsters the opinion of experts and retailers in m-commerce that the mobile phone is a powerful multichannel tool. While in bricks-and-mortar stores, 69% of those shoppers who said they’ve accessed a retail site on their phones say they use their phones to visit that bricks-and-mortar store’s site. But 46% also use their phones to access a competitor’s site. This makes it all the more important for retailers to have a mobile-optimized site to nab shoppers who are comparison shopping in stores, experts say.
Apps are not to be left out, though they are less popular than mobile sites. 7% of shoppers in the study used retail mobile apps this holiday season compared with only 1% during the 2009 holidays.
Overall, shoppers who are highly satisfied with a mobile experience say they are 30% more likely to buy from that retailer online and 30% more likely to buy offline, as well as being far more likely to return to the main e-commerce site, recommend it and be loyal to the brand, ForeSee finds.