Mother’s Day Mobile Shoppers: Little Room for Error

by Net Future Institute on July 7, 2014

By Chuck Martin

Not all customers expect smooth sailing throughout the mobile shopping process.

Consumers shopping for Mother’s Day gifts were just about as likely to buy via mobile and online as in a store.

However, those who chose a digital purchase path were concerned about problems arising along the way and many were not hesitant to quickly switch to a competitor, based on a new survey.

Almost as many (29%) Mother’s Day shopper planned to buy via mobile or online compared to 30% who planned to shop at brick and mortar stores, according to the results of an online survey of 2,051 U.S. adults conducted by Harris Poll for Soasta, a cloud testing company.

The majority (64%) of Mother’s Day shoppers worried about a problem arising from using a mobile app or website. Here were the top concerns:

42% — Safety/security of the site/app
24% — App/site runs very slowly
22% — App/site stops responding to any clicks/taps/commands
22% — App/site crashing while I’m shopping
20% — App//site has glitches
20% — Not being able to tell if my order was completed
8% — Other problem with mobile sites/apps/websites

Security is often cited as the top concern of mobile shoppers, as we’ve written about here frequently.

Many Mother’s Day shoppers also were not hesitant to react to problems in the digital shopping systems, with 83% saying they would take action against those responsible. Here’s the action they said they would take:

49% — Go to a competitor’s mobile site, app, website
33% — Never us the app/visit the site again
18% — Post/share about that issue with that particular app/site on social media
10% — Tell my mom that I was going to buy her something but the app wouldn’t let me

For parents with younger children, a key benefit of mobile apps for almost a third (29%) was allowing shopping on the go, according to the survey. A majority (67%) also said mobile apps make it easier to be a mother.

The obvious risk to retailers is that they may not see or notice the negative reactions, resulting in lost sales or customers moving to their competitors.

Mobile shoppers can be a tough crowd.


Chuck Martin is Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Chuck Martin is a frequent Mobile Keynote Speaker and Mobile Marketing Speaker internationally. He also addresses Social Media in Mobile.


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