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Mobile users missed by major retailers

25 April 2012 - 13:07 by Sarah Collinson

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Web expert, Alex Wares, has spoken out about the issues which smartphone owners face when attempting to carry out safe shopping online from their portable device of choice.

Mr Wares, who is the MD of Mediarun, said that consumers are ten per cent more likely to visit an e-commerce site and leave without making a purchase, if they are browsing from a mobile phone.

Internet Retailing interviewed Mr Wares, who believes that unless stores do more to improve and optimise their sites so that they are easy to use from handheld gadgets, they will be losing out on potential sales.

While long time fans of safe shopping online might assume that most major companies would have developed an m-commerce site of some kind which is easy to view and use on a touchscreen device, Mr Wares pointed out that even big retailers, like Sainsbury's, are still somewhat lacking in this area.

While it is possible to interact with most desktop-style sites using a modern smartphone, doing so can often be a frustrating experience. If you have patience, then you can navigate a page designed for use with a mouse and keyboard, by tapping with your fingers and zooming in and out, but it is hardly the slick, smooth type of shopping that most would like to encounter on a mobile.

Mr Wares said that although mobile users could easily switch to a laptop or desktop computer when they encounter non-optimised sites, giving retailers business from a different device, more often than not they would simply look elsewhere.

Retailers need to avoid giving a bad first impression, particularly in an age when people have web access built into almost every device they use. As such, Mr Wares is just one of a number of experts calling for faster adoption of mobile optimised e-commerce portals.