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Consumers quick to abandon poor mobile shopping experiences – and never come back, study finds

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Two-thirds of consumers will abandon mobile transactions out of principle if the process is too difficult, according to latest research, Pocket Shoppers: eCommerce on the Move, from global payments expert, Elavon.

The study of 2,000 UK adults looking at their mobile shopping experience, identified that two-thirds of shoppers will abandon online transactions when the process is too difficult. Furthermore, over half (58%) surveyed reported that a poor experience would impact their decision to shop with the brand in the future.

The major sources of frustration range from being forced to repeat information (69%) to obligatory sign-up processes (54%) and limited payment options (41%).

Colin Close, Managing Director, UK and International Corporate at Elavon, says: “Our findings show that for many people, shopping on a mobile device is often problematic. This year we saw an increasing number of shoppers use mobiles to secure Black Friday and Cyber Monday bargains causing outages on some popular websites. Retailers need to optimise their eCommerce platforms or risk losing ground to their competitors, particularly when their sites might be overwhelmed by seasonal traffic.”

The research also revealed that these technical hurdles are coupled with consumers’ waning attention spans. A third (32%) of those surveyed said they are often distracted whilst shopping using their mobile, while a quarter (25%) feel they don’t have enough time. This combination leads to another challenge for retailers facing the demands of increasingly time-pressured customers – 36% of all adults say they feel less patient when buying goods on a mobile.

When asked about when and where they choose to transact on a mobile phone or tablet, most adults (64%) still prefer to do this at home. An increasing number however, prefer to shop and pay whilst physically on the move – 23% of young adults (18-24) are most likely to do so during the commute, on lunch breaks, or waiting for friends, for example.

Kevin Salaman, Head of Global Omnicommerce for Elavon, explains: “Most of the eCommerce problems highlighted by this study are not difficult to get right. Our research indicates that having simplicity in design, multiple payment options, fast page loading times as well as removing barriers to purchasing, like mandatory registration processes and multiple forms, greatly improves eCommerce. Businesses must be mindful of the constant distractions and waning patience of their average customer. Undivided shopper attention is hard to come by. Abandoning a transaction is also often just a swipe away.”

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