Marketers Should Increase Their Mobile App Spend in 2015

Mobile shoppers yearn for convenience, but new research from Contact Solutions suggests that apps fail them in their time of need. According to the company’s “Mobile Spend in 2015” report, which surveyed more than 1,800 U.S. adults last fall, poor mobile customer experiences can turn shoppers off of a brand and even affect their behaviors as a whole.

That’s why, according to Contact Solutions, a seamless app experience with integrated customer service should be a no-brainer for marketers still determining where to dedicate their 2015 dollars.

“Our latest research found that the next generation of mobile apps will need convenient in-app customer care not only to stave off cart abandonment, but to build brand loyalty, as well,” said John Hibel, director of marketing for Contact Solutions. “Even though retailers have started investing in mobile apps, shoppers are often left wanting more. When they are forced to switch channels to get the assistance they need, this fractures the brand experience and makes consumers far more likely to abandon shopping carts—and what’s more, they’ll often abandon the brand entirely.”

Other key findings include:

  • Customer care is imperative to growing adoption and making mobile apps sticky. Without good customer care, consumers won’t think twice about abandoning a retailer entirely—not just their app. Shoppers expect help immediately and effortlessly. In fact, 25% of shoppers won’t make a purchase with the brand at all if they have to stop what they’re doing and leave the app to get help.
  • Showrooming happens often, but it’s preventable. Twenty-seven percent of shoppers prefer to shop on their mobile devices while they’re in the retailer’s actual store, but 26% browse mobile while in a competitor’s store. Therefore, better in-app care than the “other guys” can stop showrooming in its tracks.
  • App recommendations can help boost the bottom line. Twenty-three percent of respondents say in-app recommendations would entice them to add more items to their cart, while 33% say they’d get them to spend more time in the app.
  • The majority of shoppers have needed assistance in mobile apps. Eighty-one percent of shoppers say they’ve required assistance in a mobile app. However, only 12% use their mobile phone to get help simply because it wasn’t available. What’s more, almost half of respondents say they strongly dislike leaving the app to get help.
  • Mobile is more sedentary than expected and happens in the home. The lion’s share of shoppers (85%) say they prefer to shop at home via mobile, even if other devices are nearby.
  • Deals and discounts still reign supreme, but they don’t have to dominate. A little more than half (54%) of shoppers say coupons and discounts would increase their desire to be a repeat customer, but product comparison (34%), the ability to get help (25%), and more ways to pay (29%) help generate repeat business, as well.

As Hibel puts it, “Losing shoppers due to a poor mobile experience is a real risk for retailers in 2015.” 

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