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More and more consumers are using their smartphones to shop online on the go. Retailers should optimize the m-commerce experience they are offering – because the better the m-commerce experience, the more consumers will spend.

smartphone with credit cards
© Neirfy – Shutterstock.com 

There are many ways to use your smartphone when shopping online. Some retailers rely on their mobile website to address their target group, others even offer apps for the best shopping experience. But a recent report found that – at least in the UK – mobile apps are somewhat lacking in the “nice experience”-department. Especially “when it comes to offering a premium shopping experience via mobile app”, as Fashion United puts it.

The report – “The Mobile Payment Journey” by Wordplay – surveyed over 16,000 consumers across ten different countries. It shows that British consumers are very reserved when it comes to apps: On average, they have only seven apps downloaded on their smartphone (the global average being ten). 37 percent of UK shoppers prefer to use the mobile browser over a mobile app. In this aspect, the UK is leading. But it’s certainly not a good sign for retailers looking to sell vast amounts via m-commerce.

Consumers are reluctant to download new apps

The main problem for retailers in the UK is building trust. 77 percent of British consumers only download and use an app when they know the brand – and trust it. Globally, 71 percent of consumers only download apps from brands they trust. “The UK mCommerce market is one of the fastest growing in the world, but it is also the most demanding”, explains Shane Happach, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Enterprise eCommerce, at Wordplay. “Consumers are reluctant to download new apps, and quick to axe those that don’t prove valuable, meaning it is no longer enough for brands to develop an app for purely functional purposes.”

Retailers should put their focus especially on optimizing their checkout process when they offer a mobile app. Long checkout processes are the number one reason for abandoned shopping baskets on mobile devices, as the report shows. Happach thinks that the latest technological advances like fingerprint scanning or facial recognition could help retailers to provide a faster and simpler shopping experience.

Consumers spend more when the experience is better

And providing a better mobile shopping experience can pay off: The report shows that 31 percent of British consumers are willing to pay more for a product or a service if the shopping experience is better. Millennials are even more willing to spend more for a good experience: 43 percent of them “are the most willing to favour and shop from brands which offer a luxury, five-star shopping experience”.

And offering “concierge”-style services for people in a hurry pays off even more. “Brand that focus on offering consumers a five-star personal shopping service from their pockets, and an increasingly invisible checkout process, will see fewer abandoned baskets, more app downloads, and increased sales of more valuable goods and services”, says Shane Happach.