Mobile online shopping continues to attract consumers, but a large number of potential customers abandon the process at the checkout stage. This is a problem that m-retailers need to sort out by improving their customer communication.

Online Shopping: M-Retailers Need to Communicate Better on Payments

Shopping via smartphone or tablet still poses a number of problems, judging by the results of the 2013 Mobile Consumer Insights study recently released by Jumio Inc., a next generation ‘credentials management’ company that offers payments and ID scanning and validation products for mobile and web transactions. The survey was conducted online in the United States on 22 - 26 March by leading market research firm Harris Interactive among 2,130 adults –1,261 of whom were smartphones or tablet owners – aged 18 and over. It found that, as indicated as long ago as 2010 in an article published by L'Atelier, e-tailers need to improve their communication with consumers regarding the security of online payments to make them feel more comfortable when time comes to ‘confirm’ their shopping cart.

Varying consumer behaviour on mobile devices

While the majority (68%) of smartphone and tablet owners have attempted to make a purchase on their device, two thirds of these have failed to complete a transaction due to obstacles encountered at the checkout stage. The first issue is that customers do not feel secure entering their credit card information. In fact the figures suggest that women feel less secure than men on this count, with 56%, compared with 47% of the men polled, saying they did not feel comfortable when it came to payment. Age is also a factor: 62% of the 55+ age bracket expressed concerns over the security of their credit card information, versus 59% of 45-54 year-olds and 45% of the 18-34 age group. Women may have a reputation for being avid shoppers but when it comes to making a purchase on mobile devices men are more likely to do so – 74% compared with 62%. Among men, the big mobile shoppers are in the 18-34 age bracket.

Are you prepared to wait?

Another obstacle, which certainly calls for better communication from m-commerce sites, is the length of time the checkout process takes. Some 47% of those surveyed said that it took too long and fully 66% of potential shoppers said that they had been forced to abandon their cart at least once. Comments Jumio CEO Daniel Mattes: “Until retailers address these important concerns – from providing faster checkout options to addressing the safety of credit card and account info – they'll continue to see a large portion of their customers abandon their shopping carts instead of clicking 'buy'.” So it seems that m-retailers may be missing the mark when it comes to communicating with customers about online security, and losing a lot of potential revenue because of that. 

By Kathleen Comte