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M-Commerce Not Wowing Consumers

5 Mar, 2014 By: Doug McPherson

NEW YORK – A new report says consumers think mobile screens are too small and retailers’ M-commerce sites aren’t user friendly.

The survey, from PwC U.S. Retail & Consumer practice, says both store apps and mobile sites must improve or risk losing consumers, and that retailers should ensure their mobile site is optimized, while also ramping up apps to improve the experience.

“Consumers now view multichannel shopping as a given, and the costs and complexities of managing a multichannel model are too great and offer too few rewards to benefit the customer experience,” says Steven Barr, PwC’s U.S. retail & consumer practice leader.
“Today’s non-stop shoppers have taken things into their own hands, becoming more tech-savvy than retailers. Consumers have the tools at their fingertips to immerse themselves into the retail brand. Our report finds that consumers have strict expectations that challenge today’s shopping experience and, in response, retailers should embrace what we at PwC are calling Total Retail.”

Among the findings:

  • 37 percent of shoppers in the U.S. say security fears prevent them from shopping by phone
  • 33 percent say their screens are too small
  • 32 percent say they don’t own smartphones
  • 79 percent of the U.S. respondents say they shop at retail brands they trust and that provide a distinctive experience
  • 61 percent say special deals and promotions are why they follow brands on social media – the report suggests retailers can better meet consumer expectations by using shopper data to customize digital coupons, content, and social media promotions
  • 45 percent of U.S. shoppers say real-time inventory availability is important to them
  • When asked how often they use an app and mobile browser for shopping, respondents noted 22 percent and 28 percent weekly, respectively, with mobile browser faring a bit higher due to convenience (53 percent prefer mobile browser because of convenience)

The report, based on responses from 15,000 online shoppers worldwide, says as consumers’ tech demands increase, retailers will need the technical agility to provide “one seamless experience via PC, tablet, mobile phone, in app or Web browser.” 

The report suggest retailers should:

  • Better establish a strong brand promise that solidifies a core of loyal customers. A high percentage of survey respondents were attracted to brands that tell a story in an engaging manner.
  • Customize offers based on totally protected personal preferences and information. Big data and predictive analytics will help retailers use customer data to increase marketing and sales effectiveness through customizing digital coupons, exclusive content, and social media promotions, among others.
  • Offer two-way social media engagement. Enthusiasm for social media by retailers and brands is driving consumers to engage, comment and even effect change.

For more information and to download an electronic copy of the report, visit

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