M-Commerce Grows In UK

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

More than ten million consumers in the UK have undertaken at least one form of mobile commerce transaction, a new study has revealed.

Tealeaf and Harris Interactive surveyed 2,228 participants aged 16 years old or above and found that 23% had completed a transaction via a mobile device during the past year.

Shopping registered an uptake of 63% among this audience, measured against dealing with financial matters on 37%, travel bookings’ 34%, and insurance applications’ 23%. The average m-commerce customer engaged in such activities 4.4 times per month, suggesting they are becoming increasingly entrenched.

When assessing the tools through which to do so, 43% of those polled selected apps, and 41% cited internet browsers.

Elsewhere, 51% of contributors expected to enjoy a better experience on wireless devices than in bricks and mortar stores, and 52% took the same view after comparing mobile with desktop PCs.

To date, however, standards are seemingly falling somewhat short, as 83% of individuals who sought to finalise transactions utilising this medium last year came across a problem.

Error messages constituted the most common stumbling block, with additional impediments involving log-in systems, getting caught in an “endless loop” and being “kicked off” sites.

The study said “These issues go beyond connectivity and download speeds; the mobile experience itself is fraught with obstacles that keep consumers from accomplishing their goals”

Such a trend is especially important given 75% of interviewees believe they should be able to complete at the first attempt, driven by the enhanced functionality of smartphones.

Some 46% of buyers felt ‘frustrated’ when encountering difficulties, and 29% opted to try again later on a PC.

A further 17% contacted customer services, 16% switched to a competitor, and 13% simply abandoned the planned acquisition altogether.

More broadly, 66% of the sample would be less inclined to trade with the provider concerned through any channel in the event of a failure on mobile.

Nearly 80% of the m-commerce population had discussed their experiences with others, and 49% aired opinions on social media properties.

Having lodged a complaint on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, 27% anticipated receiving a reply, and 61% may discourage friends from doing business with the firm in question.

Geoff Galat, Tealeaf’s chief marketing officer said “Everyone talks about the momentum in the mobile channel and customers continue to show an increasing appetite for carrying out transactions on these devices”

“But, at present, mobile consumers find the convenience of transacting anywhere is offset by unsatisfying and unproductive experiences.”

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