Like most consumers, almost all millennials shop in person, but they also turn to their smartphones for all kinds of commerce. Millennials in the U.S. who shop in person do it because of a sense of immediacy and the ability to touch the product and in many cases see if it fits, based on a new global study. The majority (66%) of millennials overall shop in a store rather than online due to being able to get the product right away and 66% because they are able to see, touch and try the merchandise.
As the annual mobile commerce benchmark of holiday shopping approaches, it looks like it could be yet another mobile moment. Various pre-holiday shopping studies are coming out providing some insight into where mobile may fit this time around. This matters due to the massive size of spending over a relatively short period of time. Retail sales between last November and January totaled $969 billion, according to Deloitte, with projections of topping $1 trillion this time around.
More consumers are making purchases through mobile but that doesn't mean they're happy doing it. As the mass migration to mobile actions continues, smartphone owners are doing more researching, shopping and purchasing with their phones but not all are totally satisfied with the experience.
Airlines have been gearing for mobile commerce in a big way and now are awaiting more smartphone activity by consumers. Three out of four airlines now have mobile boarding pass and check-in capabilities, features expected to be in 90% of airlines' mobile apps within three years, according to the latest gauge. Despite the wide availability of such services, most travelers still aren't using them. In the last year, check-in by mobile app accounted for 12% of passengers, which was up from 9% a year earlier, according to a study by SITA, the airline industry organization.
Mobile apps have been holding their own in the world of shopping, but consumers are doing a lot more than that with apps. More money is being spent per order via mobile apps compared to desktop and mobile Web site spending, according to the latest research from Criteo. This is good news in the world of online selling, since shoppers spent more than $10 billion online during the last month, according to the IMGR Capgemini eRetail Sales Index that is just out.
The simple shopping habits before smartphones typically involved a lot of searching at home and shopping in stores. A consumer could have been searching online or browsing through newspaper ads before heading to a store or mall. Those were essentially the two main shopping arenas. Smartphones extended shopping activity so that it could be all the time and in any place.
Consumer expectations have both an upside and a downside for the growth of mobile payments. We know from numerous studies that there are various barriers to masses of consumers jumping onto the mobile payments bandwagon. While retailers have been gradually upgrading sales terminals to be able to accept various mobile payment methods, such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, consumers with capable phones still have been reluctant to give up paying by cash or credit card.
Back-to-school shopping, another annual benchmark for the magnitude of mobile commerce, is just about over for many parents, so the final tallies are just around the corner. Indications are that the shopping season was another strong one for mobile, with smartphones continuing their move to center stage. For overall spending, most (91%) parents expected to spend the same or more than last year, according to a study conducted by Survata for Fatwallet.
Getting consumers to move money through their smartphones has been a tricky proposition at best. As a pure cash or credit card replacement, mobile payments just aren't as easy. Various joint efforts by retailers haven't seemed to pan out and now retailers like Walmart and CVS are more or less going it alone, leveraging their own mobile apps.
Retailers worrying about millennials ditching their stores in favor of mobile purchasing may be focused in the wrong direction. Millennials are participating in mobile shopping in a big way but they still favor going to the store. As might be expected, most (63%) millennials shop on their smartphones every day, according to a new study.