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Many consumers are unhappy with recent mobile shopping experiences, according to study by Tealeaf; among social media conversations related to mobile shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend of 2011, 58% expressed praise for mobile commerce, but 41% reflected frustration with mobile experiences.

The new study explores consumers' perceptions of how the nation's top 35 mobile commerce retailers (based on Internet Retailers Mobile Commerce Top 300 Retailers) performed during the busy shopping weekend, particularly given the new challenges of mobile commerce.

Among negative conversations, the three most common types of complaints focused on consumers' inability to complete transactions, poor search functionality of mobile sites/apps, and inconsistencies between online and mobile channels.

Below, other findings from Tealeaf's Mobile Shopping Experience Report, with research conducted by Crimson Hexagon.

Consumer Struggles

More than one-half (58%) of negative conversations over the holiday weekend focused specifically on customer struggles such as payment problems and search-and-sort problems; some 21% called out features that might have improved consumers' experiences, but were unavailable.

Some retailers got it right, however: 36% of mobile consumers praised mobile features and functionality (convenience, ease of use, instant deals), but only 17% praised mobile apps.

Twitter conversations about mobile shopping related to the 35 retailers increased 217% on Black Friday, the study also found.

Expectations for Mobile Experiences High

Consumers' expectations for mobile shopping are already high, according to separate research from Harris Interactive and Tealeaf.

Among consumers who have conducted a mobile transaction in the past year:

  • 47% expect experiences on their phones to be better than experiences in-store. 
  • 80% expect experiences to be better than or equal to in-store.
  • 85% expect experiences to be better than or equal to online (via laptop or desktop computer).

In addition, 63% of online adults say they would be less likely to buy from the same company via other buying channels if they experienced a problem when conducting a mobile transaction.  

Have Problems, Will Share

Moreover, frustrated customers tend to broadcast their experiences.

Among adults who have experienced problems with mobile transactions, 78% have shared their negative experiences with others: 

  • 40% have shared their experiences via social media channels (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, blogs).
  • 60% have shared their experiences in person with friends and family.

Top Mobile Struggles: Error Messages, Navigation

Among those who have struggled in the previous year while conducting a transaction via their mobile devices, the most common problem is error messages (34%), followed by navigation issues (29%), the inability to complete a transaction due to an endless loop (25%), trouble logging in (23%), and encountering insufficient, incorrect, or confusing information (16%).

When experiencing problems attempting to conduct mobile transactions, many consumers would abandon their transactions and take their business elsewhere: 

  • 43% would abandon the mobile transaction and try later via computer.
  • 16% would become more likely to buy from a competitor.
  • 14% would email or log a complaint with customer service.
  • 12% would abandon the transaction at the app/site and try a competitor's app/site. 

About the data: Tealeaf's Mobile Shopping Experience Report was conducted by Crimson Hexagon, and is based on the analysis of social media conversations (Twitter, public Facebook pages, blogs, and message boards) about the top 35 mobile retailers from Internet Retailer's Mobile Commerce Top 300 list. The analysis for this report covers social media comments and conversations from January 1, 2011 through November 28, 2011. The Harris Poll, commissioned by Tealeaf, was conducted among 2.469 US online adults, February 9-11, 2011. Some 410 respondents had conducted a mobile transaction in the previous year.

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