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40% of Mobile Holiday Shoppers are Frustrated: What a Small Biz to Do?

mobile commerce

Mobile holiday shoppers found that the experience was less than satisfactory this year.

Christmas is less than two weeks away, and holiday shoppers have become “Mobile Multi-Taskers,” utilizing their smartphones to shop while they, well, shop. Internet conversations reveal many shoppers making mobile purchases while waiting in line for in-store deals, and that’s key for small businesses to understand in order to make the mobile experience a good one for mobile holiday shoppers.

“It’s not a big or small company thing,” said Geoff Galat, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Tealeaf. “It’s a web thing.”

Tealeaf is a software company that helps its clients understand the  mobile customer experience. A new report from Tealeaf found that Twitter conversations about mobile shopping spiked over 200 percent on Black Friday, with 40 percent of those conversations reflecting frustration with the mobile shopping experience.

“Customers experienced payment problems, had trouble searching and sorting through product, and entering data,” Galat said. “Customers want to buy on their mobile phones and have high expectations.”

Although this study only looked at the 35 largest retailers, there are definitely a few takeaways for small businesses. One of them is to not be so quick to write off those complaints as comments on poor deals, long lines, and being too late for certain products. Almost two-thirds of those shopper complaints on Twitter were a direct result of struggles to make purchases and to shop on the mobile phones. If customers are struggling on your mobile site or with your mobile app, it could mean less business.

“[Over 75 percent] of the negative chatter on social media is with the intent to steer people away,” Galat said. “It’s a cautioning network that can turn these problems into very large issues very quickly.”

This is especially important to consider when 85 percent of shoppers think that the mobile version ought to work as good or better than the laptop or desktop version. So, if your site or app is frustrating holiday shoppers, they just won’t go back to the computer, they will go to a competitor. Period.

Galat said that there is complexity to putting together a mobile app and creating a smooth mobile experience, and that complexity is never going to go away. To meet the challenge of that complexity and in creating a mobile experience that won’t drive away customers, Galat suggests that small businesses admit that there’s this challenge, and to be proactive about it.

“It’s about addressing the opportunity cost, and asking how much didn’t they get that they could have,” he said. “Mobile is a real channel now. It’s no longer a nice to have thing.’

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About Allison Midori Reilly

Allison Midori Reilly is the CEO and Founder of Stirring Media, LLC. Stirring Media, LLC is a content marketing and news production firm that provides content marketing and business blogging services to the small business market. Prior to that, she was a freelance writer, who was published in over a dozen print and online publications, such as Smallbiztechnology.com, American City & County, Ideabing.com, Transport Topics and St. Louis Commerce Magazine. In her spare time, Reilly is an active member of Amnesty International as well as an avid poker player.

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