Learning From the Holiday Season, Part 2
This is part two of a three-part series. You can read part one here.
Mobile commerce, whether on a dedicated app or a responsive website, has redefined the shopping habits of millions of consumers. As this channel becomes more critical than ever for retailers, Astound Commerce’s Mobile Matters report takes a look at the state of the mobile experience across 25 top U.S. retailers.
The report is part of a three-part series on holiday shopping, including the role of the physical store and the ways retailers use social media. For the mobile report, we used a five-point scale across five key factors to rate how well retailers have tackled the challenge of a streamlined, engaging mobile experience, analyzing areas including mobile product content, omnichannel capabilities, customer service and more.
The Top Performers
Across the 25 retailers studied, several stood out as having inspiring and efficient mobile experiences. The top five mobile websites were American Eagle Outfitters, Ulta Beauty, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters, while the best apps were Macy’s, Sephora, The Home Depot, Victoria’s Secret and American Eagle Outfitters.
The report revealed what factors drive excellent mobile shopping experiences, and where retailers can do better:
- Engaging merchandising tactics: The best retail apps and websites merchandise products in compelling, attractive ways, like highlighting new and trending products. However, some retailers have room to improve. While most websites (96 percent) aggregate “what’s new” product selections, only 52 percent feature “trending now” sections — both effective tools to showcase products on mobile. Apps need even more work on this front: only a third feature “trending now” sections, and 39 percent still don’t highlight best-sellers.
- Rich product content: Informative blogs, videos and product guides can be staples of excellent shopping experiences. For example, Home Depot and Amazon.com use augmented reality to allow visualization of products within the home, while Sephora and Ulta have both created makeup simulations. Others draw customers to the app with exclusive content. While the majority of apps and websites use video content, only a third of apps studied feature blogs or product guides.
- Streamlined customer experience: Across retailers, mobile web wins on its search and navigation strength, while apps prioritize a quick path to purchase. The average clicks-to-checkout on mobile apps are an impressive 2.74 vs. 3.60 on a mobile website. Additionally, 78 percent of apps feature one-click checkout options, with fewer websites (64 percent) offering the same.
- Omnichannel excellence: Mobile apps and websites play a critical role in connecting shoppers to stores that can’t be neglected. And while 88 percent and 86 percent of websites and apps, respectively, feature product locators, just over half have introduced store pickup options that customers crave (mobile web 58 percent and apps 55 percent).
- Easy access to customer service: Service-oriented mobile apps and websites fare well with customers, who want quick answers and solutions. While 92 percent of websites and 74 percent of apps feature dedicated customer service/FAQ pages, just 33 percent and 14 percent, respectively, use click-to-call buttons on the homepage or via navigation.
The bottom line is, mobile matters. These are the factors that drive success for mobile websites and apps.
It’s time to assess how your mobile website and app performs for today’s demanding shopper. Do they deliver the efficient and well-executed experiences that delight your customers?
For more information about the study, click here.
Sebastian Klare is the vice president of global marketing at Astound Commerce, a global digital commerce agency.
Related story: Mobile Apps Help City Furniture Personalize the In-Store Shopping Experience