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Why Merchants Must Maximize Mobile Now

Posted on 11.18.2011

The mobile channel clearly provides great opportunities for merchants, but a poor-performing mobile commerce site might turn consumers away from a brand altogether.

A recent study from Internet platform and services company Limelight Networks has revealed that a smooth and rich mobile experience can increase conversions and build brand loyalty – leading to consumers making mobile purchases, purchases on desktop computers, as well as making purchases in stores.

According to the survey, 34 percent of consumers use their mobile devices regularly to purchase products other than apps, games, eBooks and music, while 33 percent make an occasional purchase – at least once every three to six months.

After researching a product on a mobile device, 76 percent of respondents purchase the product in a brick-and-mortar store, while 72 percent make the purchase on a desktop computer. Furthermore, 71 percent even claim that they use their mobile devices to research products while they shop at brick-and-mortar stores.

“Even if respondents do not complete purchases on their Internet-connected mobile devices, they are using their devices as a source of product information before making purchases elsewhere,” says David Hatfield, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Limelight Networks. “The mobile device has emerged as a gateway to retail engagement across multiple selling channels, and therefore retailers who maximize the mobile shopping experience are best positioned to increase sales and overall brand loyalty.”

The survey also shows that consumers have a low tolerance for bad shopping experiences on mobile devices, with 62 percent abandoning the site and returning to it on a desktop computer at a later time. Twenty-one percent complete their research and/or purchase, but won’t return to the site if they can avoid it, and 18 percent abandon the site and look for alternative brands to visit on their mobile devices.

“Consumers are unwilling to suffer less than optimal mobile shopping experiences, with 80% reporting that they will instantly abandon a bad experience,” says David Reisfeld, Limelight's general manager of content delivery solutions. “Although 62 percent of respondents noted that they intend to return to the retailer at a later date using a computer, the retailer has still lost the immediate purchase and cannot guarantee that the buyer will ultimately complete the purchase in the future. Even worse, almost 40 percent of respondents indicated that they will actively avoid a retailer’s unsatisfactory mobile site.”


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