36% of UK smartphone users abandon slow retail sites

Retailers need to make sure their online and multichannel services meet customer expectations in the run up to Christmas

Retailers need to ensure their online and multichannel services meet customer expectations in the run-up to Christmas.

According to research, 36% of UK smartphone owners would abandon a slow mobile experience and shop somewhere else if a website failed to load in three seconds or less. But patience is less in the US where 46% would abandon, with just 20% in France or Germany.

The research from Dynatrace, an application performance management (APM) company, also said 37% of UK smartphone users would leave negative reviews or complain on social media after poor website performance, compared to 61% in France, 44% in the US and 33% in Germany.

The research, which surveyed 2,470 UK smartphone owners, stated that 44% of people will shop mostly online and via their mobile, while 31% will use a combination of mobile, online and in-store.

“The message from these findings is loud and clear: mobile is a primary sales channel and customers are unforgiving over a poor experience,” said Erwan Paccard, solution marketing manager mobile and omni-channel at Dynatrace.

“During the run-up to the biggest sales period of the year, this signifies a huge risk to retailers," said Paccard. 

"Digital channels demand an equally strong level of planning and commitment at physical stores.”

Additionally, the research found 56% of UK smartphone users will use their mobile devices to compare prices in store, download coupons and read reviews.

The survey also highlighted the trend of showrooming, where customers browse in store and buy online – 61% of consumers said they shop this way.

Mobile and retail

More retailers are realising the need to provide slick services online and on mobile. For example, Sainsbury’s is currently trialing and developing a mobile shopping application.

Last month, Sainsbury’s digital and technology director, Jon Rudoe, said the app allows customers to create shopping lists that can be used to navigate the shop and scan goods as they are placed in the basket. It also enables the device to pay for goods, allowing users to avoid checkout queues.

“Now we’ve actually been working on that for a while, we started with a mobile scan-and-go product that enabled you to go around the store and scan products, pay on the phone, get a receipt and walk out,” he says.

“Now the next iteration is to create a list wherever you are, searching for products on the phone or scanning products in your kitchen – real digitised shopping.”

Rudoe explains that, once the shopping list is created, you can take your smartphone into a store and shop from the list on the app, which ticks off items as you scan them into your basket.

“Something like 60% of our customers create a shopping list before they go to the supermarket,” he says. “So we’re not working on the periphery of our business – we're digitising the heart of the journey.”

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