Too Many Products Crowd Small Screens: ‘Paradox Of Choice’ Frustrates 48% Of Mobile Shoppers

Nearly half (48%) of consumers agree or strongly agree that buying and discovering products directly from brands’ mobile sites is frustrating, according to a survey from Qubit. Instead, consumers are more likely to use their mobile devices for browsing and inspiration (61%) than for purchasing specific items (58%).

During 2017, consumers could choose from more than 78 million products across 73 retail web sites in the U.S. and EMEA regions, according to Qubit. This demonstrates a “paradox of choice” for consumers and illustrates the need for retailers to focus on relevancy and discovery now more than ever.

Just over two thirds (67%) of consumers use their mobile devices to view product pages, but only 13% add products to shopping carts on mobile. (These shoppers ultimately don’t purchase the product). When using a laptop or PC, 18% of consumers add items to carts. This suggests that while customers have no trouble engaging with product pages on mobile, something is impeding their ability to discover the products they want and proceed to the next step.


With this in mind, retailers must focus on creating curated category and product recommendations for every visitor based on their actions or predicted preferences, increasing the number of products that customers view and getting them deeper into a retailer’s product catalog. This way, retailers can cater to the majority (57%) of consumers who report that their favorite mobile shopping web sites try to personalize the experience to their preferences and interests.

“Netflix recommendations, a Spotify playlist or the Instagram feed provide a model for how people expect to discover on mobile,” said Simon Jaffery, Product Director at Qubit in a statement. “All of these are AI-powered, based on consumer preferences, context and intent. Our research identifies that e-Commerce businesses have an opportunity to increase revenue across all channels by creating mobile experiences that help their customers discover more of their catalog.”

‘Mobile Halo Effect’ Directly Influences 19% Of Online Sales

Mobile activity has a direct impact on 19% of the revenue generated from a desktop or laptop computer, according to an analysis of users who logged into their retailer accounts on more than one type of device. This “mobile halo effect” spreads through different retail verticals including:

  • Fashion (24% of computer sales impacted by mobile);
  • Health and beauty (19%); and
  • Multi-category retail (18%).

Mobile-influenced sales increased 93% in 2017, with some retailers attributing as many as one in three computer transactions to mobile browsing.

Mobile Payment Is Less Of A Barrier For Consumers

While product discovery is a key tactic retailers must tackle in 2018, payment methods are becoming less of a hassle for retailers to overcome. In fact, 67% of respondents said payment methods are not a significant barrier to purchasing on mobile today.

In the survey, Qubit asked respondents to rank what would be most likely to encourage a purchase on mobile:

  • A faster or easier browsing experience (47%);
  • Easier to find exactly what they wanted (44%);
  • Easier to discover new products that they liked (35%); and
  • Easier to pay (33%).

Qubit conducted the research with an analysis of 1.2 billion e-Commerce shopper journeys, sampled from the Qubit platform, and surveyed more than 4,000 consumers.

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