What Factors Are Preventing Consumers From Making Purchases on Mobile Devices?

October 26, 2016

mapp-factors-preventing-consumer-purchases-on-mobile-devices-oct2016Mobile devices are increasingly used for retail research, and now account for about half of visits to e-commerce sites. But conversion rates on mobile devices – and smartphones in particular – continue to lag desktops and computers. A new survey from Mapp [download page] provides some insights as to why this is the case.

As part of its 2016 Consumer Views of Email Marketing study, Mapp (formerly BlueHornet) asked almost 1,800 email subscribers aged 18-64 how likely they are to complete purchases from mobile phones and tablets. This is important given that many respondents are checking emails on smartphones (72%) and tablets (41%), and 44% use a mobile device most often to check emails.

While 42% of respondents said they’d be at least somewhat likely to complete a purchase on a mobile phone, this group was outweighed by the 47% who would be less likely or not likely to make a purchase. Similarly, the 38% likely to complete a purchase on a tablet was outpaced by the 46% unlikely to do so.

A larger degree of comfort purchasing on a desktop or laptop was the most cited barrier to purchases on both mobile phones (44%) and tablets (45%). On mobile phones, difficulty navigating the website (37%) as well as it being hard to type information (36%) followed as the biggest barriers, while on tablets security concerns (30%) and not wanting the app (28%) were the next-largest hindrances.

Mapp recommends that marketers “make the purchase path easier and quicker, highlight products and details in a seamless manner, and reinforce security on a continuous basis.”

It’s worth noting that mobile conversion rates might be higher for emails than for other channels: past research has suggested that more than 6 in 10 smartphone conversions come from an email, likely because clicking on a link in an email (particularly a remarketing email) removes the need for on-site search, which can be difficult on smartphones.

When using a mobile phone or tablet, about half of respondents say they have no preference regarding use of a mobile website or an app, though the remainder favored mobile sites over apps by a 2:1 margin. Among Millennials (18-34), a plurality preferred mobile sites, with fewer reporting no preference.

An important consideration is mobile responsiveness: half of the Mapp survey respondents will delete an email they receive on a mobile device that doesn’t display correctly, and another 5% will unsubscribe.

More data about the power of email marketing can be found in the following MarketingCharts reports:

About the Data: Mapp describes its methodology as follows:

“The Consumer Views of Email Marketing Survey, developed by Mapp, was fielded by Flagship Research to a national panel of 1,765 consumers in August, 2016. The survey panel was representative of the U.S. population between the ages of 18 and 64. 70% had a household income over $35,000 and participants were evenly distributed by gender and geographic region (East, Midwest, South, and Western regions of the United States).”


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