State of Mobile Features and Functionality

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Bennett Lauber
Bennett Lauber

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state-of-mobile-features-and-functionalityRetailers need a holistic view of the mobile user experience — not just for their own digital properties, but those delivered by their competitors.

In the recent study, "2013 State of Mobile Features and Functionality," Siteworx investigated the mobile and tablet experiences retailers delivered this past holiday season and how those experiences impacted consumers’ actions — from shopping and sharing products to completing mobile purchases. The findings point to the importance of providing a consistent, cross-device shopping experience that delivers results. Below we’ve included three of the key findings:

1. Smartphone Users Prefer Using a Mobile Website Over Downloading a Mobile App to Shop

By an almost 2-to-1 margin, respondents who own a smartphone say they prefer to use a mobile website (65.7 percent) instead of downloading a mobile app (34.3 percent).

Recommendation: This data indicates that a mobile website or responsive website is now essential for any retailer who is serious about serving smartphone users. This recommendation applies even for retailers that have already invested in mobile apps.

2. Smart Phone and Tablet Purchases — A Small Share of a Growing Market

Respondents who indicated they purchased holiday gifts this year used brick-and-mortar stores and desktop computers by a more than 10-to-1 margin over tablets and smartphones. According to Forrester Research, Inc., “Online sales account for just 7 percent of retail sales.” However, comScore’s latest post-holiday data reports a 14 percent year-over-year online holiday spending growth rate. Given these trends, it’s reasonable to expect that tablet and smartphone sales will continue to increase commensurately with the growth in online sales.

Recommendation: As more consumers become comfortable making purchases online, retailers must invest in simplifying the mobile shopping and purchasing experiences. This requires a new paradigm and a shift in thinking — not just replicating the online experience on a smartphone or tablet, but leveraging the inherent capabilities of the device type to meet specific consumer preferences and needs.

3. Tablet Users More Likely to Make a Purchase

Of tablet- and smartphone-owning respondents, tablet owners are more likely to complete an online purchase than their smartphone-owning counterparts. 18.6 percent of tablet owners made a purchase using their device this holiday season versus 12.8 percent of smartphone owners who responded to the survey.

Recommendation: While this survey did not address the physical aspects of how consumers are using tablets, the larger factors of tablet devices make them more likely to be used in the comfort of a home or office versus smartphone users, who tend to be out and about and on the go. Within these more casual settings, perhaps browsing through a secure Wi-Fi connection, consumers are likely more comfortable providing payment information. Incorporating graphic or textual information that highlights the security or encryption of the information will help novice smartphone purchasers become more comfortable entering their payment information.

Interested in learning more? Download the full report, 2013 State of Mobile Features and Functionality, from Siteworx.


[1] Insights: How US retailers are building up their online muscle, December 24, 2012.

[2]Press Release: 2012 U.S. Online Holiday Spending Grows 14 Percent vs. Year Ago to $42.3 Billion, January 3, 2013.

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