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M-commerce services criticised for delivering inadequate customer experience

14 June 2011 - 10:10 by Simon Crisp

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A study has found that retailers could be losing business because of poorly realised m-commerce services delivered to portable devices, with consumers being put off from carrying out safe shopping online via their phones.

A study conducted by Tealeaf and commissioned by Econsultancy, has found that consumers will usually rate mobile sites and apps considerably lower than other retail channels when it comes to overall ease of use.

Only nine per cent of people questioned said that m-commerce outlets provide a good service, compared to 30 per cent for full desktop e-commerce sites. Forty-six per cent of respondents said that poor service was delivered by a majority of m-commerce providers.

The authors of the report have concluded that in general it is a lack of funding for mobile projects which is leaving people unimpressed with the m-commerce experience in its current form. This is despite the fact that most consumers consider accessing safe shopping online from a mobile a valuable tool as smartphone uptake increases.

It is recognised by experts that there are plenty of variables out there which can limit the flexibility with which retailers are able to implement m-commerce services. In short, they have to adapt to the lowest common denominator, which can mean making services overly simple and uninspiring, so that people with basic mobiles can still access them.

In another study it was discovered that almost a quarter of UK consumers carried out a transaction via their mobiles in 2010 and this is expected to rise in 2011. However, of this proportion, around 83 per cent came face to face with an experience-hampering issue, which suggests that the problems with m-commerce are particularly deep rooted.

The first port of call for improvement is thought to be the checkout systems offered by mobile sites and apps, because quicker, easier ways to complete transactions will help boost mobile sales.