Voice of the Industry

Mobile devices: Shopping's new remote control

Thursday 21 April 2022 09:13 CET | Editor: Irina Ionescu | Voice of the industry

Consumers are making increasing use of their mobile devices to shop and pay, and become increasingly satisfied with their shopping experiences, according to people in five of the six countries studied for PYMNTS and Cybersource’s 2022 Global Shopping Index

The Index examines the behaviours of more than 13,000 consumers and 3,000 merchants in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, the UAE, the UK, and the US. 

As the global COVID-19 pandemic has forced retailers to accelerate innovation, digital has emerged as the great equaliser in improving shopper satisfaction. Today, merchants are making digital features a priority, regardless of how and where consumers shop. 

Smartphone in hand, even in the store

Across the countries studied, 42% of the consumers used their smartphones at least once, at some point during their most recent shopping journeys in 20211.  Although many are making purchases entirely from their mobile devices, some are also using their mobiles in the store — and not just to make mobile wallet payments at the checkout.

Following this trend, shoppers' days of asking in-store sales associates for help could soon be deemed as something from the past. For most of the questions they might have about items they are willing to buy, in-store shoppers are increasingly reaching for their phones instead. 

Among consumers in the nations we studied, 34% used their smartphones in store2 to perform the following tasks:

  • Check and compare prices

  • Access coupons, special offers and other discounts

  • Find products in the store

  • Check inventory status

  • Look up product reviews

  • Access loyalty programs

The study also mentions that 59% of merchants support mobile features customers can use while shopping in their stores in 2021, compared to the 50% that did so the previous year3.  And it's clearly worth the effort: when consumers can use their smartphones in the store, they experience far smoother shopping journeys than in-store shoppers who don't. According to the consumers we surveyed, merchants that offer smartphone-assisted shopping features provide an in-store experience that's 49% less friction-laden for consumers than non-mobile-assisted shopping4.  Merchants should take note, as customers are looking for and engaging with this type of technology and not offering it might leave them behind.  


Source: The 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index, p.8

The all-mobile experience is the most satisfying

The most seamless shopping experience is the one consumers get when they shop exclusively via smartphone. Consumers who completed their entire shopping journeys on their smartphones were the most satisfied of all, with merchants earning an average Index score of 153. That's higher than the scores given to merchants with customers who used any other shopping channel (including smartphone-assisted brick-and-mortar experiences)5

Increased satisfaction at the expense of confidence? 

Merchants' increased focus on delighting their customers with digital features may, in some cases, come at the expense of the post-sale experience. The survey shows that merchants have tightened their post-sale policies. In particular, two 'protect me' features have seen noticeable declines: 

  • Easy dispute resolution — 41% fewer merchants said they made it easy to resolve disputes in 2021 than did so in 20206

  • Guaranteed refunds for fraudulent charges — 37% fewer merchants promised to refund shoppers for fraudulent charges than in the previous year7

This apparent change of heart regarding refunds doesn’t necessarily mean that merchants have changed their policies for refunding customers when things go wrong. It's more that they have implemented stricter protocols around refunding purchases, such as enforcing final sale policies, and asking consumers to provide proof of non-receipt of goods.

According to our data, many consumers interpret this as a friction, while merchants regard it as good business — even though it comes with the risk of creating the false positive problem that drives good customers away8

Merchants are doing a lot, but could they do more? 

Over the last year, we have witnessed remarkable improvement in how merchants have embraced digital by adding the features consumers now expect, as part of their shopping experience. 

Now, we're entering the era of the mobile-first shopper. Smartphones are empowering consumers across geographies to reassess how they want to shop, while the seamless shopping experiences created by mobile devices are redefining what consumers expect brick-and-mortar merchants to deliver. 

Working with the right payments partner can help retailers succeed by delivering a full range of mobile-enabled shopping features — without overlooking post-sales support. In this way, retailers can create the end-to-end positive shopping experiences that help to maximise conversion and drive sales. 

For more insights into the digital transformation of retail and the consumer shopping experience, download your copy of The 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index now.

About Lee Tango

Lee is a Senior Director: Strategic Solutions, Europe and CEMEA for Cybersource and a distinguished industry practitioner with an extensive knowledge from more than 20 years in the industry. Working with global acquirers, retailers, hospitality providers and transit operators, he has helped them plan and execute their digital transformation aspirations. Lee has an intrinsic working knowledge of payments within enterprise organisations and the tough challenges faced when attempting to adapt and transform to stay relevant. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lee-tango/

About Cybersource

At Cybersource, we know payments. We helped kick start the eCommerce revolution in 1994 and haven’t looked back since. Through global reach, modern capabilities, and commerce insights, we create flexible, creative commerce solutions for everyday life—experiences that delight your customers and spur growth globally. All through the ease and simplicity of one digital platform to manage all your payment types, fraud strategies, and more. Knowing we are part of Visa and their security-obsessed standards, you can trust that your business is well taken care of—wherever it may go.

  1.  "The 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index," p.5

  2.   "The 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index," p.8

  3.   "The 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index," p.6

  4.   "The 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index," p.23

  5.   "The 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index," p.22

  6.   "The 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index," p.20

  7.   "The 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index," p.20

  8.   "The 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index," p.7

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Keywords: mobile payments, mobile money, online shopping, report, merchants, fraud prevention, friendly fraud, credit card fraud
Companies: Cybersource, Revolut, Visa
Countries: World






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