Security, Usability Concerns Top Mobile Shopping Deterrents

November 30, 2011

motricity-mobile-shopping-deterrents.jpg32% of smartphone and tablet owners say that concerns about security have prevented them from making a mobile purchase, matched by the proportion who say that their shopping has been impeded by difficulties seeing the full product information on their device screen, according to a survey released in November 2011 by Motricity, conducted by Wakefield Research. Data from the “Motricity Mobile Shopping Survey” indicates that slow or unreliable internet connections (31%) closely follows as a leading deterrent, while about one-quarter of respondents cite problems with entering purchase information as a hindrance to making a purchase via their device.

These results closely mirror findings from a Limelight Networks survey released in November, which found that the availability of detailed product images (88%) and mobile site optimization (82%) were either important or very important features of most respondents’ mobile shopping experience.

Comfort Drives Purchases

According to the report, 70% of Americans who shop with their smartphones or tablets report purchasing more items directly from their device this year than last, while just 11% say they spent less. Apparently, if security and usability are to be hindrances, then comfort and ease of use can follow as motivators: 44% of respondents said an increase in comfort level with using their devices drove them to shop more on their devices this year, while 35% cited the ease of using their devices specifically for making purchases.

Convenience Attractive to 25-44-Year-Olds

Respondents aged 25-44 are nearly twice as likely to feel that shopping from a mobile device is more convenient than those aged 18-24 (42% vs. 23%). Meanwhile, 78% of respondents report using their devices while shopping: comparing prices (61%) and finding special offers or discounts (50%) are the top activities among these shoppers. A July 2011 survey from and Experian also found these to be the top activities, albeit among a smaller proportion of mobile shoppers: according to the survey, of the 36% of consumers who said they use their smartphone for shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, 48% said they compare prices online when shopping in a store, while 35% said they use their device to scan product bar codes to find the best price.

Men Go Big-Ticket

According to the Motricity survey, the most expensive thing respondents cited purchasing on a device cost on average $274, while about one-third reported not spending more than $100 on any item when shopping on their device. Among shoppers, it appears that men are making the big-ticket purchases: on average, men spent $90 more on the most expensive item bought on their device than women ($312 vs. $222).

About the Data: The Motricity Mobile Shopping Survey was conducted among 403 adult Americans, ages 18 and older who own a smartphone and/or tablet, between November 8th and November 14th, 2011, using an email invitation and an online survey.

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