Smartphones spell a new era for VIP shopping, reports Worldpay

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Mobile commerce is on track to become the luxury, five star shopping experience of the future, according to new research from Worldpay. But the UK is behind the rest of the world in the mobile app revolution, as 37 per cent of British consumers still prefer to purchase items via a mobile browser over an app – more than any other country globally.

Worldpay’s latest global report on mobile consumer spending, The Mobile Payment Journey, polled more than 16,000 people across 10 markets to discover their most recent mobile payment experience and spending habits, and to find the elusive secret of what makes a mobile shopper hit the pay button.

The research found that while apps remains the channel of choice for the majority of consumers, competition for app space is fierce in the UK. On average, Brits have just 7 apps downloaded onto their mobile device, compared to a global average of 10. At the same time, trust is particularly important in this market, with 77 per cent of shoppers saying they would only consider downloading apps from brands that they know and trust, compared to 71 per cent across the globe.

As consumers become increasingly selective about the apps they choose to download, there is a rising demand for brands to offer a more luxury, personalised shopping service. Worldpay’s research found that a third (31 per cent) of UK consumers would be happy to pay more for a product or service if the mobile shopping experience is better. This number rises to 43 per cent among millennials, who are the most willing to favour brands that give them a “five-star” shopping experience.

The rewards for brands that get the mobile experience right are tremendous. Nearly one quarter (23 per cent) of respondents said that they spent more than £50 on their last purchase. Shane Happach, executive vice president, head of global enterprise e-commerce, at Worldpay, Inc. said: “The UK mCommerce market is one of the fastest growing in the world, but it is also among the most demanding. Consumers are reluctant to download new apps, and quick to axe those that don’t prove valuable, meaning it is no longer enough for brands to develop an app for purely functional purposes.”

“Our research reveals the number one reason for smartphone basket abandonment in the UK is a long checkout process, which serves as an important reminder to merchants that the latest in smartphone technology, from fingerprint scanning to facial recognition, can help create a faster and friction-free user experience. We also found that time-strapped shoppers are increasingly turning to their smartphones for a ‘concierge’ style service – and they’re willing to pay a premium for it.”

“The beauty of technology advancements means that there are more opportunities for virtual assistants and connected devices to make consumers lives easier. Retailers that focus on offering consumers a five-star personal shopping service from their pockets, and a quick and easy checkout process, will see fewer abandoned baskets, more app downloads, and increased sales of more valuable goods and services.”