Is brand loyalty dead on the mobile web? New report tackles privacy vs. convenience

29/10/2014

Brands with slow or poorly made mobile websites are increasingly losing potential customers, as mobile savvy users switch to rival sites to meet their high expectations, according to new research.

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The study, from Netbiscuits and Hightail Young, also found that people under 21 are far more likely to share their data with advertisers than their elders, with Brits more comfortable with tracking than anywhere else in the world, according to new research.

Key findings:

• 91% of consumers surveyed will turn to a rival brand if mobile site inadequate
• Millennials ‘promote or punish’ ethos creates huge mobile challenge for brands
• 96% claim the mobile web is failing them, as consumers seek to do more on the move
• Tightrope for brands, as consumers exchange privacy for experience, but say ‘don’t be creepy’
• Bricks and mortar retail renaissance fuelled by consumer appetite for emerging technology

The report details the behaviours and attitudes of more than 6,000 consumers towards mobile. Fuelled by increased mobile engagement and the rise of ecommerce, 91% of expectant consumers, particularly across the 18-34 age range have turned to a competitor site if they are left wanting from their mobile experience.

In fact, over one third of all respondents said they often or very often head elsewhere if the experience is not what they are looking for.

Featuring respondents from the UK, US, Brazil, China, Germany and India, the report found that brands are still failing their customers via mobile channels, with more than 96% of consumers claiming they had abandoned a mobile website because of a poor experience.

The report also uncovered some interesting consumer perspectives on brand personality personas, attitudes and awareness of emerging technologies and the blurring of the lines between the digital and real worlds.

The death of brand loyalty: ‘I want it now’ mentality leaves little room for sentiment

The research, commissioned by Netbiscuits and conducted by Populus, highlights an increasingly demanding and frustrated mobile user base, as consumers seek to do more with their mobile devices. The major reasons for mobile web disappointment, include websites being too slow (96%), with 95% claiming it was too difficult to enter information and the same number claiming they could not find what they were looking for on mobile websites. The visitors that are most often unable to complete the tasks they wanted are in India, where 34% say that this is a regular occurrence. In Brazil, it is 29% and in the UK it is one quarter. Overall, the USA is delivering the best experiences to its visitors, but still 92% of mobile web users have at some stage not been able to complete what they wanted to on their mobile device.

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Millennials will promote or punish brands based on their experience

Netbiscuits identified a clear divide between age ranges, in their willingness to endorse brands for good experiences on the mobile web. In total, 80% of respondents identified that they have recommended a brand based on mobile interactions, with 29% saying they do this often or very often. In the 25-34 age range, 90% of respondents agreed that they recommend a brand based on its mobile website and 38% do this often or very often. However, this group is also the least tolerant and generally perceive their experience to be worse. Contrastingly, only 5% of device owners aged 65 or over say they recommend brands often or very often. Europeans, particularly those from the UK (21%), were less likely to endorse a brand online, with China (45%) and USA (44%) stating they frequently recommend brands based on their experiences.

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Consumers keen to exchange privacy for experience, but warn brands not to cross the line

As concerns continue to reverberate from the EU Data Protection directive, Netbiscuits found that consumers also often had conflicting views on privacy and permission. Interestingly, 79% of users said they would be happy to share personal data, such as location, if it was for a specific purpose that would boost their online experience. Alternatively, 91% said they had deleted an app that they believed had become intrusive. Similarly, 40% of people in the survey said that they abandon a site if it asks for their location, placing pressure on marketers to ensure they are adding value by understanding a user’s context when asking for personal information.

Other key findings in the report include:

• Brands must think about mobile context, as Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) blurs the lines between work and play
• NFC you soon. Consumer remain confused on mobile payment technology, as Apple Pay launches
• Emerging markets see the sunny side as Euro sceptics unfazed by wearables revolution

Daniel Weisbeck, CEO, Netbiscuits, said: “This year’s People’s Web Report has confirmed that in addition to an increasingly complex mobile landscape, we are also seeing better informed, more demanding consumers who want to do more on the mobile web and therefore are expecting more. Mobile is evolving at an unprecedented speed, and this report is about getting to grips with the people whose behaviors and attitudes will ultimately influence the shape of tomorrow’s mobile web and a brands future.”

“Marketers are walking a tightrope, trying to get the balance right between convenience and privacy, and comfort and security, is tough, but get it right and they could race ahead of competition. Consumers, particularly the younger ones told us they are happy to trade personal data, providing they get a better experience. As brand loyalty is replaced by ‘experience loyalty’, marketers simply must capitalize on every moment they have with their customers, ensuring they deliver exceptional mobile experiences regardless of the device, location or context from which their visitors arrive.”

View some key charts from the report here

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You can download the full report for free here

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