Consumers are ready for m-commerce, but are retailers?

A new survey from PayPal indicates retailers are lagging in the crucial area of mobile commerce.

According to 2019 global mobile commerce survey research conducted by Ipsos and commissioned by PayPal, 78% of consumers have ever used a smartphone to make a purchase or payment online. However, only 63% of retailers have a “mobile-optimized” site or app.

Across almost all consumer generations, mobile commerce is common. Almost nine in 10 (87%) Gen Z and millennial consumers have made a smartphone purchase or payment, as have 80% of Gen X and even 65% of baby boomers. Only among consumers older than baby boomers (born before 1946) is engaging in mobile commerce somewhat uncommon (49%).

When asked what aspects of mobile commerce drive them to participate, respondents who engage in mobile shopping were most interested in saving time and ease of use. The top responses were ease of using device for making payments (44%), ease of using device for shopping (44%), saving time while shopping (43%), and saving time while paying bills (40%). 

Among all consumer respondents, the clear number one barrier to mobile commerce is slowness/effort barriers - such as slow page loading, long forms, apps not loading, etc. (61%). Other popular barriers are security/trust issues (51%), and payment problems (35%). Interestingly, women (55%) were much more likely than men (48%) to see security/trust issues as a barrier to mobile commerce.

When asked what mobile payment methods they currently use, mobile shopper respondents had three clear favorites: PayPal (53%), credit card (44%), and debit card (41%). Google Pay and bank transfer tied for a distant fourth place with an 11% usage rate each.

Among all consumers, mobile payment by smartphone or tablet is the most popular way to make a payment online (44%), followed by laptop/notebook (30%), and desktop (21%). Preference for mobile online payment is most pronounced among Gen Z and millennials (53%), followed by Gen X (43%), baby boomers (28%), and older consumers (17%). Women (48%) prefer mobile payment more than men (39%).

This study was conducted across 11 markets with approx. 22,000 consumers and 4,602 business respondents. Markets included were U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, India and Japan.

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