New research by Klarna, a leading global retail bank, payments and shopping service, reveals how shopping habits have permanently changed in the aftermath of the pandemic, with UK consumers becoming increasingly reliant on their mobile devices and shopping apps.
Klarna’s 2021 Mobile Shopping Report, which surveyed more than 13,000 consumers across 13 countries, finds that in the UK, where strict lockdown policies were in place, 7 in 10 (67%) now shop via their mobile devices more often compared to two years ago. This is more than in any other country in Europe, especially those that implemented less restrictive measures such as Sweden (54%). In the UK, consumers across all generations increased their mobile shopping as a result of the pandemic, from Gen Z (77%) and Millennials (79%) to Gen X (68%) and Baby Boomers (56%).
Data shows that while shoppers are now returning to shop in physical stores, they increasingly seek to combine their online and in-person shopping experience, with 6 in 10 (62%) using their mobile devices to research products while shopping in store. Consumers use online shopping tools to make better informed decisions, with 9 in 10 saying they use their phones to compare prices (90%) and look for the best deals or price promotions (94%) and 8 in 10 (78%) saying they search for shopping inspiration.
The report also finds that shopping apps have become quite popular in the UK, with the majority of consumers (60%) having between 1-5 shopping apps installed on their device. However, consumers are becoming increasingly frustrated with the overload of apps and having to switch between them: 4 in 10 (35%) feel overwhelmed by the number of apps available and a quarter (24%) say they would delete more than half of their existing shopping apps. Most UK consumers (63%) would prefer to have a single app that incorporates all aspects of their shopping journey, with 8 in 10 (79%) saying this would simplify their shopping experience
“The digitalisation of retail means that we will stop talking about online shopping and physical stores as separate experiences, with consumers able to access the best of both worlds to make informed purchase decisions. Shopping apps will play an increasingly important role in the way we shop and consumers will choose those apps that can support them in all the stages of their shopping and payment journey, helping them save money and time,” said Alex Marsh, head of Klarna UK.