As consumers face a third year of the pandemic, shopping behaviors accelerated by COVID-19 are continuing to transform the role of technology in making a purchase.
New research from Cybersource and PYMNTS.com finds that more than one-third of shoppers are turning to smartphones when shopping in-store. In addition, 59% of merchants support mobile features to help them make a purchase. The 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index provides insights into how mobile-first shoppers are reshaping what success looks like for merchants in a new world of retail.
“Merchants have had to constantly reinvent themselves throughout the pandemic to meet consumers where they were, and this usually meant adding or augmenting their digital channels to improve the experience,” said Carleigh Jaques, SVP, Global Head, Acceptance Solutions, Visa.
The study, which examines behaviors of consumers and merchants across Australia, Brazil, Mexico, the UAE, the U.K. and the U.S., found that consumers are quickly becoming mobile-first and merchants need to meet those preferences to succeed moving forward.
The rise of the digital-first shopper
- Consumers want digital to be a part of their physical shopping experiences. Of the one-third of shoppers who used their smartphones when shopping, 31% used their phone to look up product information, ratings and reviews; 16% used them to determine if the product was in stock and where it was located; 15% used them to compare prices offered by other merchants; 14% used them to find coupons, special offers and other discounts; and only 8% used them for loyalty credit for their purchases.
- Mobile devices have emerged as the shopping tool of choice for global consumers. 42% of consumers surveyed used their smartphone at least once during their most recent shopping journey in 2021, compared to 2020, when only 18% of consumers used their phones to assist their shopping experience.
- Merchants are prioritizing digital features that improve the consumer shopping experience, regardless of which shopping channels they use. 59% of merchants allowed shoppers to create digital profiles that could be accessed across mobile, laptop and other digital channels in 2021, up 16% from 2020.
- Merchants are actively working to add voice-enabled purchasing options. 65% of merchants now allow customers to shop and pay for their purchases using voice-recognition technology, although consumer awareness lags, with only 39% of shoppers using the capability.
“The data in this year’s Global Digital Shopping Index shows the awareness gap between what consumers want and what features merchants offer,” said Karen Webster, CEO of PYMNTS.com. “In a world where consumers have so many options to make a purchase, merchants are often judged first and foremost by their customer experience. Forward-thinking brands are making payments a positive experience.”
Cybersource can help merchants develop seamless digital payment experiences to meet consumers’ growing needs and deliver the flexibility and scalability needed for growing businesses globally. To learn more about what the future holds for digital shopping experiences, download the 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index report.
Methodology: 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index
The 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index is a PYMNTS and Cybersource collaboration examining the behavior of 13,114 consumers and 3,100 merchants across Australia, Brazil, Mexico, the UAE, the U.K. and the U.S. The report was compiled calculating an index score that represents the friction associated with the consumer’s purchasing experience against the features that consumers consistently rated as critical to their shopping satisfaction.