- Home Depot, the hardware supply chain with 2,282 stores in North America, has the easiest-to-use mobile website, according to a study by Forrester Research provided to Mobile Marketer. The researcher studied the mobile websites of 12 leading retailers and found that Home Depot provided “best-in-class mobile web usability.” The retailer’s mobile website has clear, mobile-friendly content, including videos where appropriate, single-page checkout and easy-to-find live chat and customer support, per the study.
- Costco, on the other hand, has more work to do to improve the functionality, checkout, payment capability and content of its mobile website, Forrester said. The warehouse club ranked last among the retailers surveyed with the lowest functionality score.
- Furniture retailer Wayfair earned good marks for strong functionality and “good-enough usability,” while electronics chain Best Buy has the best omnichannel shopping features but poor usability, according to Forrester. Wayfair’s mobile site is easy to navigate and includes detailed product information pages and suggestions for coordinating items.
Forrester’s report has many insights into the mobile web offerings of established brick-and-mortar chains that have faced growing competition from e-commerce companies like Amazon. Unfortunately, the mobile websites analyzed were prone to crashes and missed several key criteria, Forrester said. Median online cart abandonment rates for the retailers are stuck at 66%, suggesting that checkout processes still fail to meet customer expectations. Many retailers spark buyer frustration by not offering a clear process, easy online forms and digital wallets — or they require customers to type out too much nonessential information on their mobile devices, per Forrester.
Another key test by the researcher was in customer support. Consumers naturally want to be able to resolve an issue or get a question answered as quickly as possible, and a negative experience with customer support is often detrimental to brand loyalty. Thirty-five percent of online U.S. adults say good customer service motivates them to purchase from a retailer again, Forrester found. Too few retailers offer adequate, real-time levels of support. Instead, consumers are often forced to search for help by scrolling to the end of a long page, digging through various tabs and sifting through FAQ pages full of irrelevant information.
Forrester also emphasized the importance of omnichannel integration, meaning that mobile sites bridge seamlessly to both mobile and brick-and-mortar shopping experiences. Mobile phones influenced more than $1 trillion in U.S. offline retail sales in 2016, and 65% of U.S. adult smartphone owners researched products on their smartphones in the past three months, the company said.
Consumers are growing increasingly dependent on browsing mobile sites and apps for product and store information while on the go, and retail marketers must adjust accordingly if they hope to snag these mobile users shoppers early on in their buying journey.