Why People Don’t Use Smartphones to Shop

by Net Future Institute on July 2, 2014

By Chuck Martin

There are plenty of reasons consumers use smartphones to shop, ranging from access to product information to finding competitive pricing.

And many shoppers find their own preferred path to purchase and their own reasons why.

For example, as I wrote about earlier this week, consumers use both apps and mobile websites to shop and more find mobile browsers to be more convenient (More Mobile Shoppers Like Convenience of Websites Over Apps).

Almost half (46%) of mobile shoppers say their shopping experience would be better if they could check available stock while in a store and almost a third (31%) want in-store Wi-Fi with a simple login.

But some consumers don’t use any online tools to buy, primarily because they like to shop in a store where they can see and touch their desired products.

Based on a large global study by PwC, of those who did not purchase online, here are the top reasons:

54% — Prefer to touch/try the product
52% — Just prefer to shop in store
43% — Worried about security of personal data
35% — Don’t trust online payment methods
25% — Don’t have a credit/debit card

And as no surprise, there are a number of consumers who are not active mobile shoppers.

The PwC study found that a significant number (40%) of shoppers use apps for shopping only a few times a year, at most. More than a third (36%) of mobile browser users are in the same boat.

Twelve percent of consumers never use apps and 8% never use mobile browsers for shopping.

Research also consistently shows that more people make an actual purchase from a tablet than a smartphone, though the latter are heavily used during the research and shopping process.

One of the most obvious reasons is it’s easier to navigate information on a larger screen.

It turns out that among a range of issues, the size of the screen is the top reason consumers don’t use their phone for shopping, according to the PwC study. Of those who don’t use their phone to shop, here’s why:

41% — Screen too small
39% — Worried about security
20% — Don’t own a smartphone
16% — Don’t have a data plan
13% — Have a slow connection

Why do you use your phone to shop? Or not?



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.


Previous post:

Next post: