UK retailers forfeit £1.5 billion in mobile commerce

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With the holiday retail season now over, Jumio has released its December 2013 mobile commerce analysis, finding that retailers celebrated the most successful mobile holiday shopping season to date, yet still missed out on over £1.5 billion in mobile commerce sales due to the prevalence of outdated mobile payment experiences.

While shoppers increasingly took to their smartphones in search of the perfect gift, lost sales were equivalent to over 50% of total mobile commerce profits, according to the analysis.

Data released by the IMRG[4] shows that holiday sales were up 18% year on year in the UK in December, with twice as much spent via mobile YoY. Online sales in 2013 totaled £91 billion, with December mobile sales accounting for £3 billion.

But, according to a recent Harris poll, 47% of shoppers abandon purchases[5] on mobile devices due to payment friction, and the majority (57%) do not attempt the transaction later[6] on a computer, meaning over £1.5 billion was left on the table by retailers this holiday season in the form of lost sales.

An infographic

“While consumers abandon mobile shopping carts for a variety of reasons, from slow network speeds to high shipping costs, the most significant among them is entirely under a retailer’s control – removing payment barriers,” said Daniel Mattes, CEO, Jumio.

“On the whole, retailers with mobile apps have done a remarkable job with most aspects of their mobile shopping experience and this season’s numbers certainly show that.  However, checkout pages and payment methods have not kept pace with what smartphone devices and services can do today to streamline those processes. This cost the industry over a billion pounds this holiday season.  Good news is that we expect that number to diminish as new technologies take root.”

In addition to revenue lost due to payment friction at the time of checkout, retailers risk losing money on future purchases as well, with 63% of consumers less likely to buy from the same company via other purchase channels after abandoning a mobile transaction due to a poor experience, according to the recent Harris poll. While nearly one-half of consumers (47%) said they failed to complete a purchase because the checkout process took too long.

Other reasons shoppers don’t complete a mobile transaction include:

  1. 51% reported they didn’t feel safe entering their credit card information
  2. 41% said the checkout was too difficult on their device
  3. 23% said they failed to complete their purchase because it would not go through

“As mobile commerce sales increase each year, retailers need to offer a mobile checkout process that caters to on-the-go shoppers,” continued Mattes. “Increased security measures to protect consumers and merchants as well as more convenient payment options are essential in creating the seamless mobile experience necessary to drive purchases from the cart to the front door.”



[5] Jumio 2013 Mobile Consumer Insights Study

[6] Tealeaf 2011 Mobile Transactions Survey

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