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Trust is Holding back Mobile Commerce, Research Reveals

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which mobile commerce surveyConsumer watchdog Which? has released the results of its annual ‘Best and worst online shops’ survey. With about half of people who shop online now owning a smartphone, this year’s survey asked consumers whether they would use their mobile to shop. The Which? Survey was conducted in July 2012 and involved 14252 consumers.

In contrast to some of the reports in the industry press, many are still very cautious when it comes to buying from their mobiles. More than one in four consumers have used a phone to research products while in a high street shop, but just 17% of people have actually bought from a mobile website. It seems that trust is one of the main concerns, with 60% of people being worried about how secure it is. On the other hand, most people who bought things using their mobile found it easy.

The trust issue was a surprise to us. If people are happy and confident shopping on the web why would they feel any different while using a smartphone? A mobile website is after all just a website optimised for use on mobile devices. We think that perhaps consumers are worried that if their phone is lost or stolen, then the thief would be able to rack up huge purchases. Or maybe it’s in some way related to the damage that was done to the reputation of mobile payments industry by the ring tone and games club scams of several years ago. (You will no doubt remember the joys of the Crazy Frog.)

Curious too that while many of us use our phones to research products, just the17% go on to make a purchase. You would have thought that the figure would be higher even if you excluded every site except Amazon.

We tend to forget how long it takes for people to change their buying patterns. It’s similar in a way to how slow most UK companies are in recognising the benefits of using bulk SMS as a communication tool. Even though mobile marketing has been around for more than 10 years, we estimate that only about 30% of UK businesses are using it regularly. Slowly though, things are changing and we have certainly seen a huge rise in the number of customers opening up a bulk SMS account with us in the past couple of years.

Please help yourself to a free bulk SMS account if you wish. You will receive some free text credits for testing. If there’s anything at all that you think we could help with, please feel free to give us a call. Our details are on the contacts page.

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