Screen size is a barrier to people buying on mobile devices, new research finds

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Mobile payment page optimisation and screen size are impacting the number of consumers willing to purchase goods and services on their mobile devices, according to research conducted by payment processor, WorldPay.

The research found retail experts believe mobile devices play a role in the shopping experience but consumers are put off from purchasing goods and services on their mobile devices. Over half of those polled believe screen size is still an issue but 34% think lack of payment page optimisation discourages consumers from spending money on their devices. The most popular activities completed by consumers on all mobile devices include searching for stores (48%) and researching prices (43%).

Of those polled, 65% believe tablet devices are most commonly used for making a purchase whereas only 31% think a smart phone is used for this activity. In fact, tablets are thought to be the device of choice for a number of activities including searching for a store (60%), researching product price (57%) and looking up product information (55%). In comparison, smart phones are more commonly used for voucher codes (60%), taking photos of products (60%) and using QR codes (65%).

Philip McGriskin, chief product officer, WorldPay, said: “Perhaps the most dramatic change aligned to recent mobile successes is consumers are able to browse using their personal technology any time they want – on the commute home, at the pub, and even while visiting a shop itself. Yet, whilst consumers are using their devices to browse they are not spending as much as they could. Merchants need to understand if their target customers would purchase if the experience met their requirements and, if so, implement an optimised mobile payment page. Consumers have high expectations of the purchasing experience on a mobile and it needs to replicate what they have come to expect on a website. If merchants can understand and respond to their customers’ demands, they will reap the rewards as the m-commerce appetite does exist.”

These findings support recent research conducted by WorldPay for the Global Online Shopper report, which found almost half of online shoppers in the UK own a smart phone (48%) and 13% own a tablet.

Its research found in the UK a quarter of respondents’ disposable income is spent online and promisingly, 29% of UK consumers said they’ll use their smart phone or tablet to buy online in the next year, meaning the opportunity is enormous, said WorldPay. The report also found of those who purchase goods on their mobile devices, 25% prefer a mobile optimised website, compared to 19% who prefer to shop via bespoke apps.