Commentary

58% Abandon Mobile Transactions Before Checkout

It’s not surprising that consumers around the world are using their smartphones to make purchases.

However, while an overwhelming number of people have made a mobile purchase, the majority have not finalized a purchase they started.

More than three fourths (78%) of people made a purchase by mobile in the previous six months, but more than half (58%) abandoned a transaction before checkout, based on a new global study.

The MEF Mobile Money Report was commissioned by the 17-year-old global trade group Mobile Ecosystem Forum and comprised a survey of 6,000 mobile media users in nine countries (Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Nigeria, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States.

In terms of things bought by mobile, physical products are at the top of the list, with digital content dropping from first place two years earlier to third place today. Here are the types of items and services purchased via mobile during a six-month period:

  • 36% -- Physical product
  • 33% -- Mobile app (paid)
  • 30% -- Digital content
  • 26% -- Food/drink
  • 18% -- Service

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Transactions by mobile device are also common, with China leading the way. Most (88%) consumers there currently make mobile transactions, with almost half (47%) of those purchasing via mobile app and 38% using mobile wallets in stores. A majority (80%) of consumers in the U.S. and U.K. have made a purchase of one type or another on their mobile device.

The biggest challenge retailers may face with mobile purchasing is actually getting the deal to close.

While many (42%) consumers finish a mobile transaction that they start, most (58%) don’t.  Some people simply change their minds about a purchase and others find the payment process too complicated, time consuming or intrusive to continue. Here are the reasons consumers say they abandon a mobile purchase once started:

  • 31% -- Asked for too much sensitive information
  • 22% -- Due to connectivity or other technical issues
  • 21% -- Tool too long to complete

Those who make mobile purchases make them in different ways, with the highest number using credit card payments at websites. Here’s how consumers have purchased items or services via mobile in the previous six months:

  • 41% -- Typing credit card details into a mobile website
  • 35% -- Directly to a mobile phone bill (such as chargeable SMS message)
  • 31% -- Via an app with the app provider having a record of the credit card details
  • 18% -- Via a mobile wallet in a shop
  • 18% -- Airtime transfer
  • 8% -- Plug and play, such as a credit card inserted in a reading device attached to the merchant’s mobile phone

Interestingly, regarding trust when using a credit card to make a purchase, the same number (17%) of consumers trust typing the details in on a mobile website as they do handing the card to a shop assistant or waiter. Fewer (6%) trust reading out the details over the phone.

Mobile shopping has very much arrived. Retailers and marketers now need to focus on making it easier for mobile shoppers to finish the transactions they start.

2 comments about "58% Abandon Mobile Transactions Before Checkout".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 8, 2017 at 9:17 a.m.

    Even if the 58% abandonment claim is true, this refers to having ever done it in the last six months, not the average transaction, where the percentage would, no doubt, be far, far lower.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, February 8, 2017 at 10:16 a.m.

    That is correct, Ed. The survey asked if done anytime within the last six months.

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