Retailers shouldn’t ignore their mobile browser experience

New research shows that ensuring a great mobile browser experience is just as important as creating a great app.

comScore Mobile Advisor looked at smartphone use in the five biggest markets in the European Union and found that mobile users spend more time on apps than mobile browsers, but when it comes to purchases they are more likely to use a mobile browser site.

The research showed that consumers in Europe are frequent mobile shoppers, particularly in the UK where more than one in three smartphone users made an online purchase in April.

But while app minutes dominate mobile consumption as a whole, there were fewer purchases made on mobile apps than mobile browser in all five markets in April. Over 60% of mobile shoppers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain who purchased online, chose to do so via a mobile browser site.

Among all those making a purchase via mobile in the EU5 countries, consumers in the UK and Germany were the most likely to use an app.

Understanding how smartphones are growing as a vital commerce channel is important for retailers to optimise the user experience and engage their target audience, comScore said.

Google recently identified three key retail ‘micro-moments’ in the purchasing journey:

  1. I-need-some-ideas moments happen when people have general awareness of the product category they’re interested in, such as living room furniture, but they haven’t yet narrowed down their choices to an exact product.
  1. Which-one’s-best moments, or consideration moments, happen when people turn to their phones in short bursts of activity to compare prices, brands and specs, and read product reviews from trusted sources.
  1. I-want-to-buy-it moments happen when the research is done and it’s decision time. People make a choice about which brand or retailer to buy from, and whether to buy online or in-store.

The search giant discussed how retailers can ‘be there’ and ‘be useful’ for consumers shopping via mobile by understanding and acting on shoppers’ intent and their context.

“Intent is what the shopper wants in any given moment (Is she looking to browse or to buy?), while context includes her location and the device she’s using,” the search giant explained.

“If you marry intent and context with what you already know about your shopper (Has she visited your site in the past? Is she a loyal customer?), you can start being there and being useful in the right moments.”

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