Poor customer care hits retail apps

13 October 2014

RESTON, VA: If US mobile shoppers encounter difficulties when using a retailer's app, over half (51%) will abandon their mobile shopping cart, a new report has warned.

And a further 20% of mobile consumers will stop using the app entirely if they have to struggle with it, according to a survey of 1,000 US adults by Contact Solutions, the mobile customer care provider.

Yet even though three out of four consumers now shop online, and 30% use a mobile device at least as much as they shop via a computer, retailers do not appear to be meeting consumers' expectations about the performance of their apps.

More than half (55%) of mobile shoppers say they struggle at least once every five visits and a full 92% say it would be helpful to have customer care automatically provided within an app to help complete a task.

Furthermore, 16% of respondents say they struggle with mobile retail apps at least half the time and more than a third (38%) express disappointment with the unavailability of help within an app.

John Hibel, director of marketing at Contact Solutions, acknowledged that retailers' investment in online and mobile shopping is beginning to pay off, but said they need to pay more attention to customer care.

"Customers are using apps more frequently for shopping, but when they encounter problems and cannot get the help they need, the results are disastrous for retailers," he said.

"The solution is simple: invest more in your app's customer care offerings so it can meet your customers' expectations and provide them with a seamless shopping experience."

Data sourced from Contact Solutions; additional content by Warc staff