10/7/2009 12:38:00 PM
Mobile industry failing to sell to ‘serious shoppers’
More than one third of shoppers looking to buy a mobile phone fail to do so due to a lack of suitable deals, staff deficiencies and poor websites, according to YouGov.
The findings come from a recent YouGov survey of nearly 1,000 consumers interviewed on their mobile browsing and buying experience.
YouGov’s ‘Mobile Buying Experience’ survey revealed that a significant number of sales are lost every day. Only 54% of consumers who shopped for a mobile phone, accessory or service in the six months to June this year actually made a purchase.
Even among those shoppers who described themselves as ‘serious purchase intenders’, only two thirds bought something.
Consumers complained of poor sales techniques, from both in-store and telephone sales staff.
One major retailer, which declined to be identified, questioned YouGov’s research methods. A spokesman from the retailer said: ‘We do not think this is a fair representation, as the subjects were all contacted online.’
However, YouGov defended its research, insisting that, as 65% of UK households are online, ‘it gives a good indication of a trend that needs to be addressed’.
Consumers also objected to the lack of opportunity to handle phones and try out their different functions. Nearly everyone (91%) who was interested in a new phone said it would have been useful to have been able to ‘play’ with a working handset before purchase; less than half of them (44%) were able to do so.
The report warned: ‘Mobile phones are the tech device that consumers buy and replace more often than any other,’ and added: ‘Frequent purchase means frequent churn opportunities – suppliers need to be at the top of their game to prevent churn and gain from rivals when they have the opportunity.’
YouGov telecoms consulting director Caroline Gaskin said: ‘The mobile phone industry is missing out on significant sales volume, even among consumers who are ready and willing to be sold to.’
Online experience is ‘poor’
The survey showed that online sales are increasing, with 53% of consumers making online purchases compared with only 34% of shoppers making their latest purchase in a retail outlet.
In addition, 35% of consumers research their mobile phone purchases online.
However, consumers in the survey reported an equally poor sales experience online, with a significant number complaining of poor website layout and navigation.