A few days ago MasterCard released the findings from their North American Consumer Online Shopping Habits survey, and there are some interesting takeaways.
As nearly every device is starting to be used for shopping, customers are beginning to expect the ability to shop when, where and how they want. Truly, the omnichannel shopper is becoming the norm.
What is Mobile?
One of the initial findings from the survey is that consumers’ definition of mobile payments differs:
- Pay with a credit/debit card online on your phone (61%)
- Pay in a mobile app (58%)
- Tap your phone in-store at the checkout register (49%)
What this means for retailers is that you should be highly descriptive in your messaging around offering online or mobile payment options (if you do). Are customers paying with a card online? A mobile app? Or did you just outfit your physical store with a tap-to-pay register? Let them know so there aren’t any surprises.
Commerce Under the Covers
MasterCard also asked consumers where is the “craziest” place they shop on their smartphone, and found that North American shoppers really do want to shop when and where they want:
- In bed (37%)
- At work (26%)
- In the bathroom (24%)
- At a restaurant (15%)
There are some even more unconventional locations that online shoppers have reported browsing their favorite retailers.
- While in the shower (4%)
- While at a wedding (4%)
- While at a funeral (2%)
If your mobile commerce strategy involves targeting shoppers on the go, then you are actually better off to target women. Ladies in North America are more likely than men to shop both in bed (F:40%; M:34%) and in the bathroom (F:28%; M: 20%).
Why Shoppers “Turn Off”
What shoppers are looking for is the ability to shop how they want. But what happens when retailers do not provide customers with options? More than you might think.
- 68% of consumers have purposely not purchased something from a retailer because they didn’t offer an online payment option
- 19% have decided not to buy because there wasn’t a mobile payment option
- 14% have declined to buy because there wasn’t an in-app payment option
What this data tells us is that not having an online shopping option can potentially do more harm than just missing out on the odd sale here and there. It is enough to cause shoppers to avoid making a purchase and can even drive them straight to the competition.
Security in the Spotlight
Security still remains the number one reason people don’t shop online. 50% of North American consumers avoid online shopping because of security concerns, and 49% because of concerns around sharing their payment information. And some (around 33%) simply dislike having to enter and re-enter their payment information on every website.
The survey found that males also tend to be more worried about security than women, with men being more likely to have concerns about security (M: 58%; F: 45%) and be uncomfortable sharing payment information online (M: 55; F: 46%).
Older generations also seem to be more concerned about security than younger generations. 66% of respondents aged 65+ cited security as their main reason for not shopping online, whereas only 11% of respondents aged 18-24 say the same. For retailers that cater to older customer segments, this means your e-commerce strategy should place strong emphasis on security. Alternatively, if you serve a younger customer segment then play up other features such as convenience or the ability to use a range of payment options.
Why Shop Online?
So if security is the main reason to not shop online, then why do consumers do it? 59% of consumers reported that their main reason for shopping online is the ability to compare prices easily, and 52% said it is because of simplified checkouts, information storage, and shipping/payment options.
Boiling that down, the main reason people shop online or on mobile is because of convenience. Perhaps it’s convenience in comparing prices, or in checking out, or in the ability to shop while only wearing underpants. That last part is particularly important in the US, as 42% of Americans list not wanting to leave the house as their main reason for shopping online or on mobile.
Physical Wallet vs. E-Wallet
Would you abandon your physical wallet in exchange for using an e-wallet only? MasterCard asked survey respondents the same question.
About one-third (37%) of consumers in North America are actually willing to transition to only using an e-wallet, and a similar number (33%) are not willing to make the switch. The implication this has on retailers is less clear than with the other findings, but what it suggests is that retailers need start thinking about accepting e-wallet payments.
A Final Word
Today a lot of focus is put on integrating channels to better serve customers and while this is certainly effort well-spent, investing in payment methods is equally important. This survey sheds light on just how important it is to provide customers with a range convenient and secure of payment options. Online shopping habits are changing and retailers need to adapt their strategies to cater to new preferences and capitalize on new trends. So as a retailer you should consider your payment options sand how they can be improved, and the result will be a more enjoyable and effective user experience.