More than half of European smartphone users (53 percent) are using their devices to shop for goods, while 71 percent use smartphones to research potential purchases via mobile. A new study commissioned by Tradedoubler and carried out by Forrester Consulting surveyed more than 2,000 smartphone users in the UK, France, Germany and Sweden. It found that consumers are increasingly using mobile devices as “shopping assistants” to help them research, locate and purchase goods and services online and that one in four mobile sessions ends with a purchase completed on the device.
The research calls out the need for retailers to better understand their audiences in order to cater for their needs. In the UK, that means making sites more user-friendly, as Brits tended to shop the most frequently but were also the most “frustrated” mobile shoppers—50 percent, compared to the European average of 33 percent. In France, retailers should build on their agility as more than a third (38 percent) of users believe mobile shopping saves them time. German consumers feel that buying via a mobile phone is no different to purchasing using a desktop website (44 percent), highlighting the need for the completely “joined-up” multichannel strategy in order to facilitate it. While shoppers in Sweden are the most likely to take to the phones in-store to compare prices, a sure sign that retailers must be able to compete on all channels.
In order to grow the number of mobile shoppers from and bring mobile into the mainstream in Europe, retailers must also heed privacy and security concerns. Tradedoubler found that around half those surveyed were concerned about making a payment using a mobile phone, but 42 percent were interested in using the device as a mobile wallet.
The research is a “wake-up call for all businesses that believe an m-commerce strategy is a ‘nice-to-have’ rather than business-critical,” said Urban Gillstrom, Tradedoubler’s chief executive. “Consumers increasingly expect a seamless, multitouch, multichannel, experience across mobile, online and in-store platforms.” This becomes even more important when you consider that 26 percent of respondents said they would buy via mobile more frequently if websites were optimised for a mobile experience.
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