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Shoppers Down On Dealers’ Mobile Sites

SAN FRANCISCO – A survey of more than 2,000 wireless shoppers revealed that 88 percent had poor mobile commerce experiences and 30 percent vowed to never revisit the offending website.

According to the poll, conducted by Harris Interactive for Skava, a developer of retail apps, websites and interactive displays, a whopping 71 percent of smartphone owners use their cellular devices to shop. Nevertheless, 51 percent said retailers’ websites are hard to navigate, 46 percent said product images are too small to make a buying decision, 41 percent have security concerns, and 26 percent described the checkout process as “a pain.”

Other m-commerce challenges cited by respondents included data usage costs, difficulties in adding coupon codes, and mobile website speed. What’s more, some shoppers believe products are more expensive on a mobile website, while others claimed concerns over clicking the wrong buttons when making purchases.

“It isn’t just about putting a mobile website out there,” said Skava president and co-founder Arish Ali. “It is about building an experience that is easy for customers to use and takes into consideration the unique attributes of mobile devices.”

Ali noted that achieving significant conversion rates via mobile is possible, as generated $4 billion in m-commerce sales last year.

His advice: “Retailers need to create a unique, mobile optimized navigation to [get] a customer to their desired product as quickly as possible. Once there, you then must create a product page that the consumer feels confident buying from and then check out must be a breeze.”

Ali said his customers include 20 percent of the top 20 online retailers, which typically generate in excess of $1 billion in online sales. “Nearly 13 percent of their traffic comes from smartphones, so for them achieving optimal conversion rates through this channel is crucial to their bottom line,” he noted.

However, as the survey suggests, many retailers are still failing to meet their customers’ expectations, creating “a real threat of losing customers and market share to their competitors who create superior mobile experiences,” Ali said.