Digital bankers and retailers have long been aware of the growing strength of mobile devices as the to-hand platform of choice for consumers. This was confirmed this week with news that mobile commerce was growing 300% faster than e-commerce.
This is testimony to the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets worldwide. It’s a truly global phenomenon with smartphone dominance in developing economies, especially in Asia, driving this trend. The same survey that reported this remarkable growth also pointed to the fact that 68% of Chinese consumers had made purchase on a mobile phone.
So it is clear that mobile devices are now the platform of choice as consumers increasingly shop, bank and book on the go.
Yet, recent research for Jumio is showing that consumers remain frustrated with mobile experiences. Looking at consumers in the US and the UK, we saw that 56% of US consumers and 55% of UK consumers had abandoned a mobile transaction before completing it. We calculated that this was costing tens of billions of pounds in these two territories alone, meaning that the global figure must surely be in the hundreds of billions.
It is worth pointing out that 68% of those who abandoned the purchase did return to it later to complete it with 41% returning to their mobiles. However, 27% of those who returned, did so on a laptop or computer and this is a figure that should give cause for concern.
Mobile is growing at its strongest in developing economies and, in these economies, it is proving popular because people do not have access to home computers to the same extent as in developed economies. It’s mobile devices that are giving consumers access to the internet, not computers.
So what, then, if people can’t access a computer to complete a mobile transaction? Even more revenue being lost.
There seems to be an impasse in digital retail: consumers want to carry out their commercial life on mobiles but still, on too many occasions, the frustrations of mobile commerce make them abandon that transaction.
We know it costs money, but it costs reputation too. Not just for individual retailers, although the reputational damage for poor mobile experience is something to be avoided at all costs, but for the industry as a whole.