Mobile habits diverge in US, UK

11 January 2011

LONDON: Many consumers in the UK and US are now using mobile phones for a range of commercial purposes, but exact habits differ between the two nations.

Foresee, the customer relationship management specialist, studied the attitudes and behaviours of almost 20,000 people visiting the 40 leading retail websites in each market.

A third of participants in both countries had accessed at least one such platform through a handset, a 9% improvement year-on-year.

Looking ahead, 26% of Americans and 32% of Britons intended to use wireless devices for this reason in the future.

Elsewhere, approximately 30% of the sample had researched goods and services via the mobile internet, although the proportion completing an m-commerce transaction hit 11% in the United States and just 8% in the United Kingdom.

Figures stood at 15% and 11% respectively regarding comparing products or prices while actually in stores.

Among panellists who have browsed one of the Top 40 ecommerce properties on a phone, 56% of Americans and 47% of their British counterparts did so to discover how much was charged for certain items.

A further 46% of the US survey population compared brands in this way, 35% aimed to acquire precise product specifications and 27% read reviews, with uptake in every area bettering the UK by a minimum of 10%.

The gap closed to 17% and 13% for making a purchase, and 20% and 8% for locating a physical outlet.

When in stores, two-thirds of contributors across both nations had logged on to a company website using their phone.

Again, respondents in the US showed higher interest in a variety of other activities during shopping trips.

For example, 46% of this audience had viewed a competitor's website while in stores and 32% opted to visit a price comparison service, significantly above the United Kingdom.

The difference declined to below 5% for accessing a retailer's application or an alternative offered by a rival chain, but participation levels fell beneath 20% even in the US.

When assessing satisfaction with retail websites, the American cohort posted an index rating of 78 points, slipping to 75 points covering parallel mobile platforms and apps.

These totals secured 72 points and 67 points in the United Kingdom, according to Foresee's study.

Consumers in the two featured nations delivering especially strong satisfaction scores - topping 80 points - were around 30% more likely to buy from the firm in question again both online and offline.

A third of this group also stated an enhanced willingness to pick the same provider next time they made a similar purchase, an equal number as cited increased brand commitment.

Over a quarter of those polled registered a greater propensity to return to the website of the vendor in question having enjoyed an extremely favourable experience.

However, while individuals in this category from the UK were 64% more likely to make a word of mouth recommendation about the relevant seller, only 35% of Americans assumed such a position.

Turning specifically to the US, 31% of people who had visited Apple's main website have utilised the mobile equivalent, and 7% used the organisation's associated app. recorded 23% and 5% on these metrics, measured against 21% and 14% for

Data sourced from Foresee; additional content by Warc staff