15 per cent of Millennial smartphone owners have never used their mobile to shop

Despite being seen as the mobile-savvy generation, 15 per cent of Britain's 18-34 year-olds who own a smartphone admit to having never used their smartphones for anything shopping related on a given list, according to YouGov online research commissioned by ecommerce agency Ampersand. This includes researching, buying or saving products, looking up stock levels or location and opening hours of stores nearby.

Retailers must make it easier for shoppers of all ages to use their websites on a mobile device. For example, half* of retailers do not offer numerical keyboards for easy payment input and almost half (48 per cent*) do not offer image zoom on product pages, according to research by Ampersand.

When shopping, Millennial smartphone owners are put off using their mobile to research or purchase products for a variety of reasons, including:

  • It being difficult to view products properly on a smartphone (36%)
  • It being difficult to type or enter information on a smartphone (33%)
  • Concerns over data usage or running up a big phone bill (23%)

Although purchasing behaviour amongst younger shoppers is low, smartphones are increasingly being used by Millennials to find information about high street stores. For example, just under two-thirds of Millennials who own smartphones have used them to research store locations and opening hours (64%).

In terms of offering store information on mobile, some retailers risk being left behind, with 12 per cent* of stores not publishing information on opening hours and 39 per cent* not offering geo-location services. Of those retailers that do offer a store locator, over a third* tuck the link away within a hidden menu, nearly 20 per cent* hide it in the footer and over 6 per cent don't display it at all.

Overall, consumers prefer to use their tablet to their smartphone when purchasing products with 68 per cent those own both a smartphone and tablet stating it as their preference.

Darryl Adie, Managing Director of Ampersand, comments: "Many would have expected Millennials to be more engaged with mobile shopping, however it seems even this age group is still put off by the current state of the mobile web.

"Anecdotally, we hear retailers talk about increased traffic from mobile devices but lower conversion rates. It's not enough nowadays for a retailer to simply have a mobile optimised website and blame the device for low conversion. Many of the things that put consumers off mobile shopping are easily fixable with minimal development, including making sure retina imagery is displayed, numerical and email specific keyboards are utilised and automatic geo-location is enabled. Retailers who make their mobile websites easier to use are sure to win loyal consumers across all channels."

* Stats taken from the Ampersand Mobile Retail Matrix which will feature in the upcoming Mobile Retail Report.

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