UK brands slow to adopt mcommerce

31 January 2012

LONDON: Consumers in the UK may be taking to mobile commerce at a more rapid speed than most brand owners, figures from a new study suggest.

EpiServer, the digital communications company, surveyed 1,000 shoppers and 200 marketing executives to gauge their attitudes in this area.

In all, 59% of participants had a smartphone, and 18% possessed a tablet. More specifically, 73% of mobile owners had gone online in the last year via this device and 67% had used an app.

Among the mobile internet audience, 33% had bought something from a website, and 26% had utilised an application for this purpose.

Elsewhere, 51% of the mobile web population had been spending "more time" using this channel and 25% anticipated recording a further increase on the same measure going forward.

A 30% share of interviewees stated that they now "mainly" browsed the net on a mobile, and 41% regularly checked their email.

However, many shoppers had encountered obstacles when using the mobile web, such as the 49% who found sites slow and the 35% who said it was not easy to log in, matching the number who reported that important functionality was often missing.

An additional 32% thought it was difficult to navigate these platforms, 19% experienced problems when trying to access content, and 15% had clicked away from a site because it was hard to use.

Overall, 64% of the panel agreed they would give a mobile site an average of three chances to work before switching to another platform, although 46% would visit the same site from a desktop if they couldn't do so on a wireless device.

Turning to the corporate poll, only 20% of the firms represented had built a mobile-optimised site, 18% boasted a mobile app, and 10% planned to introduce one in the coming 12 months.

More positively, 76% of interviewees had a mobile strategy in place and 26% expected to launch a mobile-optimised website in the next year.

The core barriers limiting the development of truly coherent strategies currently included a lack of the requisite technology on 24% and a shortage of resources or staff on 23%.

The analysis argued that Amazon, the ecommerce site, Argos, the catalogue retailer, Next, an apparel chain, and Tesco, the supermarket operator, were making the most effective use of mobile at present.

Data sourced from EpiServer; additional content by Warc staff