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Overall, consumers are unimpressed with their mobile shopping experiences at the top 20 brick-and-mortar retail brands: Retailers' apps and mobile sites are often too slow to load, challenging to navigate, and error-prone at checkout, according to a survey from Mobiquity.

However, a few retail brands, such as Apple Stores, Best Buy, and Kohl's, are providing highly satisfactory experiences for their shoppers, Mobiquity found.

The survey focused on mobile shopping experiences at the top 20 brick-and-mortar retailers (i.e., excluding those without a physical retail presence such as Amazon, eBay, and iTunes). For the study, "mobile experiences" were defined as browsing and transacting via retailers' mobile websites and apps from any location, as well as using those tools while shopping in-store.

Below, additional findings from Mobiquity.

Mobile Experiences Lacking

Among surveyed smartphone and tablet owners who reported unsatisfactory experiences shopping via mobile in the previous six months, slow-to-load apps and mobile websites were most problematic.

  • Apps too slow: 50% of mobile device owners said smartphone apps were too slow and 67% said tablet apps were also too slow.
  • Websites too slow: 65% of mobile device owners said smartphone-accessed mobile websites were slow, and 45% said the same about tablet-accessed mobile websites.

Navigation was an issue for both smartphone and tablet owners:

  • 35% of smartphone owners said smartphone apps were tough to navigate, compared with  24% of tablet owners who said so.
  • 32% of smartphone owners said navigation was problematic mobile websites; that proportion rose to 39% for tablet owners.
  • 57% of tablet owners said the checkout process was complicated or did not work at all.

Bad mobile shopping experiences appear to impact brand loyalty and future revenues: 41% of smartphone owners and 43% of tablet owners say they would be less likely to shop at a retailer if they had a poor experience using their mobile app or mobile website.

Paths to Purchasing

Mobile device owners tend to mix and match their paths to purchase, Mobiquity found:

  • After browsing retailers' mobile apps and mobile sites via smartphones, 32% completed their purchase in-store, whereas 66% purchased via other channels, such as via smartphone (27%), tablet (20%), or personal computer (19%).
  • After browsing retailers' sites via tablets, 33% went on to make the purchase via their tablet, 27% did so in-store, 21% via smartphones, and 19% online via computer.
  • After browsing in-store, 41% purchased via mobile devices, with 31% citing cheaper prices as their motivation.

Top Brands

Among the top 20 retailers studied, mobile experiences at Apple Stores ranked highest: 90% of mobile device owners ranked their experience shopping via mobile as very satisfactory (51%) or satisfactory (39%). Best Buy was second, while Kohl's, Target, and Wal-Mart rounded out the top five:


About the data: For the study, Mobiquity commissioned Equation Research to survey 1,000 smartphone and tablet owners about their mobile shopping experiences in the latter half of 2012 at the top 20 brick-and-mortar retailers (according to STORES Magazine).  

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