More Mobile Shoppers Like Convenience of Websites Over Apps

Consumers use both apps and mobile websites to shop, but more find using the mobile browser to be convenient.

In the continuing debate of apps vs. mobile websites for shopping, a new study finds consumers split, with only a negligible difference between the two.

The PwC Global Total Retail Survey is based on 15,000 online interviews across 15 territories, ranging from Brazil and France to the Middle East and U.S.

The study found that almost the same number of daily shoppers prefers using a mobile browser (17%) compared to those who prefer using an app (16%).

Those who shop only a few times a year are evenly split, with 21% preferring either method.

However, mobile browsers are viewed by more shoppers as being convenient than apps, according to the study.

For those who prefer an app over a mobile browser, more than a third (37%) note convenience as the top reason:

  • 37% -- Convenience
  • 35% -- Speed
  • 28% -- Easier to use on a smartphone

However, of those who prefer mobile browsers over apps, almost half (48%) cite convenience.

  • 48% – Convenience
  • 29% -- Speed
  • 23% -- Easier to use on a smartphone

While in a store, the top activity mobile consumers want is to be able to check other store and online stock. Many of them also would like mobile technology to be utilized by store employees. Here’s what consumers said would make their shopping experience better:

  • 46% -- Ability to check other store and online stock quickly
  • 31% -- In-store Wi-Fi with fast, simple login
  • 27% -- Sales associates who can take payment without going to cash register
  • 23% -- Sales associates with tablets to show alternative products
  • 21% -- Using your mobile phone to pay
  • 20% -- Pay for an item through the store’s app

The study also identified the top regions for mobile phone shopping, where the most consumers are using a mobile phone to purchase products. The global average in purchasing by phone was 43%.

  • 77% -- China
  • 69% -- India
  • 58% -- Middle East

If any retailer had doubts about the influence of mobile on shopping behavior, the study found that 89% of mobile phone shoppers compared prices on their device and 91% researched products.

Whether using an app or a mobile website, the mobile shopper is in the driver’s seat.

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6 comments about "More Mobile Shoppers Like Convenience of Websites Over Apps".
  1. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited , February 24, 2014 at 1:56 p.m.
    Please stop comparing what shopping is like via mobile with the countries like the ones you mention. This is especially true if you haven't traveled around there and have no idea why this comparison and numbers make no sense.
  2. Grant Bergman from SurveyConcierge.com • GrantBergman.com , February 24, 2014 at 2:02 p.m.
    The mobile browser vs. dedicated app debate really needs to be split out for smartphones vs. tablets, perhaps even by screen size of smartphones as those grow larger. I much prefer the browser on my iPad to a dedicated app, and it annoys me greatly when a website "decides" for me that I should be using either the mobile version of their website or, worse, pushes me to their app repeatedly. On my iPhone the reverse is generally true. Though some dedicated apps are not ready for prime time, using a browser on the smaller screen is almost always less than optimal.
  3. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin , February 24, 2014 at 2:04 p.m.
    This is based on a global study comprising data from 15 countries and all data is aggregated that way.
  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin , February 24, 2014 at 2:06 p.m.
    Thanks for your comment, Grant, good points. There's another study just out that supports your point about the limitations of a small screen.
  5. David Kovacs from GPShopper , February 25, 2014 at 2:32 p.m.
    Chuck, some interesting stats here. can you provide a link to the other study that focuses on small screen?
  6. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin , February 25, 2014 at 2:46 p.m.
    Thanks David, I expect to be writing about that later this week.