Smartphones Dominate Retail Transactions – But Why Do Most People Choose Not to Complete Their Orders

The days of shoppers spending their weekends impatiently navigating the United Kingdom’s busiest shopping centre and high streets may finally soon be behind us, the latest research suggests. Maybe that doesn’t come as a shock to many. There will be calls and choruses about how people have been shopping online for years – what’s really changed to push that further? While advancements in technology, most notably the modern widespread access to the internet, have changed the way that we shop for several years now, online shopping trends appeared to have skyrocketed in the post-COVID era.

While the broader economic landscape poses its unique challenges to British shoppers, it hasn’t appeared to affect the amount they spend on retail purchases. It is estimated that online sales have increased by 7% in the post-COVID era, making it comfortably the most predominant method of shopping today.

But with more retail transactions now taking place online than ever before, consumer shopping behaviours and buying decisions have also adjusted to the new digital retail environment.

One of the biggest changes in online shopping behaviours that the world’s biggest brands are continuously having to adapt to is: most people choose not to complete their orders after placing an item into their digital basket.

Compare this to the in-person shopping sphere; that it is significantly less common for a consumer to place an item in their basket and begin the process of queuing to pay, only for them to change their mind and not complete the transaction.

But what are the three biggest reasons behind this new digital trend?

1.  Shoppers Can Simultaneously Be in Another Digital Store

While the online market is convenient and lowers the fixed costs of retailers, it also means they have vastly more competition. When a shopper is on the high street or in a busy shopping centre, it is unlikely that they’ll be able to instantaneously hop to another of their favourite shops; at the very least, they’ll have to physically stop queuing, return their item to the rack, and walk to another shop that may sell a preferred style of their desired item.

However, if a consumer experiences doubt before making a purchase, they can simply open another tab on their mobile web browser, search another of their favourite shops, and instantaneously view the alternative options. The convenient digital market offers consumers every brand imaginable, whereas the in-person market limits shoppers to the shops that are immediately around them, making consumers more likely to complete their purchases.

2. Shoppers Use Their Phones for In-Person Purchases, Too

How we complete retail transactions with our smartphones covers more than simply online shopping. The term ‘mcommerce’ applies to online shopping – of course – but also mobile payments in store, between people, and online, as well as for asset investments and trades.

While shopping on smartphones through online stores has a significant level of popularity, statistics surrounding smartphone buying patterns are bolstered by mcommerce technology, allowing consumers to use their smartphones to pay for in-person purchases. This gives shoppers the convenience and speed of mobile shopping, without the anonymous effect of online shopping – an area of shopping that can’t always be trusted.

That’s not ot mention the importance of customer support and assistance – face-to-face customer support is often preferred over email assistance or even chat-bots. Chat-bots themselves are not always reliable, and can give a company more of a cold, detached personality, further frustrating and disenchanting customers.

This is why it’s so important to prioritise clear communication and proactive engagement. The amount of shoppers preferring in-person shopping can’t be helped. What can be helped is how a website operates, as well as safe, transparent communication to make shoppers feel more relaxed and confident.

3.  Shoppers Don’t Always Trust the Online Experience

When making an in-person purchase, it is almost impossible to accidentally pay for something you didn’t mean to (we’re disregarding impulsive purchases here), however, research suggests users are more apprehensive about being caught out online.

While mobile payment options like Apple Pay and Google Pay offer convenience, adoption rates remain hindered by various factors. Some users are hesitant to trust digital wallets due to concerns about security and privacy. This is especially true given the amount of publicised cases of fraud and hacking in recent years – cases that have been spread online and leave a sense of doubt and a lack of confidence in the minds of many shoppers.

4.  The Potential for Hidden Fees

Another reason why some shoppers might be hesitant to complete a transaction on their phone is due to the impact of payment processing fees and the potential for hidden costs. Over the years, additional transaction fees and foreign exchange fees have made the process of buying on mobile platforms more opaque – while the cost of a product might be advertised on a website, that doesn’t include these ‘hidden fees’ that can sometimes catch shoppers out. This is why it’s so important for online retailers to be as transparent about their pricing and to minimise extra charges where they can.

5.  Device Compatibility

While smartphones have evolved exponentially over the last decade, they’re not without their challenges. There is a balancing act between smartphone software and an online retailer’s chosen software– a balancing act that isn’t always achieved, and therefore leads to disparities in screen sizes, operating systems, and network connectivity. Akin to this, website UI might not be optimised for mobile, making the performance less seamless and more tricky to navigate. The frustrations that arise from this can be too much for a user to deal with, and therefore lead to an increased click-off rate and decreased sales.

About Andrew

Hey Folks! Myself Andrew Emerson I'm from Houston. I'm a blogger and writer who writes about Technology, Arts & Design, Gadgets, Movies, and Gaming etc. Hope you join me in this journey and make it a lot of fun.

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