More Mobile Shoppers Like Convenience of Websites Over Apps

by Net Future Institute on July 2, 2014

By Chuck Martin

Consumers use both apps and mobile websites to shop, but more find using the mobile browser to be convenient.

In the continuing debate of apps vs. mobile websites for shopping, a new study finds consumers split, with only a negligible difference between the two.

The PwC Global Total Retail Survey is based on 15,000 online interviews across 15 territories, ranging from Brazil and France to the Middle East and U.S.

The study found that almost the same number of daily shoppers prefers using a mobile browser (17%) compared to those who prefer using an app (16%).

Those who shop only a few times a year are evenly split, with 21% preferring either method.

However, mobile browsers are viewed by more shoppers as being convenient than apps, according to the study.

For those who prefer an app over a mobile browser, more than a third (37%) note convenience as the top reason:

37% — Convenience
35% — Speed
28% — Easier to use on a smartphone

However, of those who prefer mobile browsers over apps, almost half (48%) cite convenience.

48% – Convenience
29% — Speed
23% — Easier to use on a smartphone

While in a store, the top activity mobile consumers want is to be able to check other store and online stock. Many of them also would like mobile technology to be utilized by store employees. Here’s what consumers said would make their shopping experience better:

46% — Ability to check other store and online stock quickly
31% — In-store Wi-Fi with fast, simple login
27% — Sales associates who can take payment without going to cash register
23% — Sales associates with tablets to show alternative products
21% — Using your mobile phone to pay
20% — Pay for an item through the store’s app

The study also identified the top regions for mobile phone shopping, where the most consumers are using a mobile phone to purchase products. The global average in purchasing by phone was 43%.

77% — China
69% — India
58% — Middle East

If any retailer had doubts about the influence of mobile on shopping behavior, the study found that 89% of mobile phone shoppers compared prices on their device and 91% researched products.

Whether using an app or a mobile website, the mobile shopper is in the driver’s seat.



Chuck Martin is Editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Chuck Martin is a frequent Mobile Keynote Speaker and Mobile Marketing Speaker internationally. He also addresses Social Media in Mobile.


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