Apple, Target Lead Mobile Shopping Sites: Mobiquity

Fewer than 16 percent completed purchases on smartphones, and 40 percent of respondents did not complete a purchase after browsing on a mobile device.

Nearly half (48 percent) of smartphone shoppers and 50 percent of tablet shoppers will abandon a retail brand altogether if they have a poor mobile shopping experience, according to the 2013 Mobile Shopping Satisfaction Report by mobile engagement provider Mobiquity.

The survey also found that Target is now the most-browsed mobile application or mobile site, and Apple’s mobile app/site is where consumers purchase the most, both usurping Wal-Mart’s prior top position in Mobiquity’s 2012 study.

Target has been actively promoting its redesigned iPhone and iPad apps "just in time" for the holidays, and the research indicates the strategy is paying off.

According to the study, 39 percent of smartphone shoppers and 45 percent of tablet shoppers browsed Target’s app and site, compared to 22 percent and 28 percent last year.

Mobiquity commissioned the survey, which was carried out by ResearchNow to study the mobile shopping experiences of 1,000 consumers at 20 of the top retail brands.

The study also found that mobile browsing does not always lead to mobile shopping. In fact, after browsing retailers’ mobile apps and sites, 35 percent of consumers went on to complete their purchase in-store.

Surprisingly, fewer than 16 percent completed purchases on smartphones, and 40 percent of respondents did not complete a purchase after browsing on a mobile device.

The research also indicated that issues with the design and user experience of retailers’ mobile apps and sites are the leading causes of shoppers giving up on a brand.

Half of shoppers complained that shopping on retailers’ tablet apps involves too many steps, and 49 percent said they couldn’t find the products they were looking for on retailers’ tablet sites. Images were too difficult to see on 41 percent of smartphone sites and 35 percent of retailers’ smartphone apps.

"Mobile shopping has grown exponentially year-on-year but the mobile experience still has a long way to go before it comes close to matching or surpassing online shopping," Andrew Hiser, chief creative officer for Mobiquity, said in a statement. "Until retailers fix their design and UX issues, they will continue to leave money on the table."

Compared to Mobiquity’s 2012 study of retail brands’ mobile apps and sites, the volume of mobile shopping has increased significantly in 2013, in some cases even tripling.

For example, in 2012, 14 percent of consumers shopped at Apple using smartphones. In 2013, this soared to 49 percent. When it comes to 2013 holiday gift shopping, 49 percent said they plan to spend $100 or more using smartphone apps, a notable increase from last year’s 23 percent.

"With more than half of the U.S. population owning smartphones and tablet sales exceeding laptop/PC sales, retailers cannot afford to gamble with mobile," the report concluded. "Nor should they treat it as a stand-alone channel since mobile also has a direct influence on in-store and online sales."