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Abercrombie, 1800Flowers lead the way with fewest clicks to purchase on mobile

Abercrombie & Fitch, 1800Flowers, Netflix, and Fanatics beat the five-click-to-purchase average on retailers’ mobile sites with only two clicks to purchase, according to a report from LightningBuy.

The “Mobile Commerce Conversion Index” ranked merchants on how likely it is that a consumer will complete a transaction from the merchant’s mobile Web site. Twenty-eight of the top 100 Internet retailers did not even have a mobile commerce-enabled site, and some sites such as Costco required as many as nine clicks to complete a purchase.

“On a mobile device where a screen is 4.5 inches you need to have as few steps as possible to insure completion because it’s just difficult,” said Carissa Ganelli, CEO/founder of LightningBuy, Bridgeport, CT. “It’s a real estate thing. There’s a small amount of real estate, and you have fat fingers.

“The more information you request from users, the higher chance they will abandon,” she said. “From every additional click you get a 50 percent fall off.

“I think that a lot of merchants don’t understand that mobile behavior is different from desktop behavior. I think many of them took their desktop site that they had 15 years to perfect and just shrunk it down. They don’t understand the difference in user behavior.”

For all of the retailers LightningBuy looked at, they averaged five clicks to purchase and nine screens to purchase. Each time a consumer has to scroll down the screen is considered a new screen.

LightningBuy counted from the time a consumer presses checkout to when he or she presses place my order.

Abercrombie & Fitch topped the list with two clicks and six screens to purchase. Abercrombie also had a load time of 4.64 seconds.

Office Depot came in fourth place after Hayneedle Inc. and Fanatics Inc. with three clicks and six screens to purchase, and Target came in fifth with four clicks and four screens to purchase.

Costco came in second to last with nine clicks and 13 screens, while Green Mountain Coffee came in last with eight clicks and 19 screens.

Some retailers did not even make the list since they either had no mobile site, no mobile commerce or no mobile-optimized shopping cart. For example, Sony and Microsoft only have a mobile home page, so they did not qualify.

According to Ms. Ganelli, merchants must trim down their mobile commerce sites to the bare minimum. They should not ask whether or not a consumer prefers to be called Ms., Miss or Mrs., for instance.

Perhaps a consumer on a desktop site would be more willing to fill out all of the unnecessary information, but mobile users want to get in and out as quickly as possible.

Beyond looking at number of clicks and screens to purchase, LightningBuy also looked at overall mobile experiences for retailers’ sites.

The average load time was 3.41 seconds, with Staples at the bottom taking 12.37 seconds to load. Rue La La scored the worst in terms of user interface, and Estee Lauder scored the worst in terms of social media.

Some of the retailers with the best user interfaces were Toys “R” Us, Victoria’s Secret, Foot Locker, Office Max and Macy’s.

Additionally, 25 of the top 100 retailers with a mobile commerce-enabled site forced consumers to register in order to make a purchase.

“This time of year people are incredibly bombarded with different promotions sales, so many things are competing for their attention, and added to that they’re incredibly time-pressed,” Ms. Ganelli said. “They don’t have a lot of time, but they have to spend money for gifts, so if I can’t get it easily at this place I’m going to go to the next place.

“There are too many other options out there for consumers to pay and purchase from that if you are not on top of your game from a mobile commerce perspective you’re going to be behind because there are too many places out there for consumers to spend their money,” she said.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York