Half of UK shoppers say they no longer need a physical wallet or purse, swapping it for a digital wallet on their phone, according to research from SAP Emarsys.
The study of 2,003 UK consumers suggests that the adoption of the digital wallet is a generational change in the UK, with 67% of shoppers who make purchases via their mobile wallet aged 18-24 comfortable without a physical wallet compared to just 37% of those over 45.
This generational difference appears to be driven by the loyalty benefits offered by mobile wallets, with 93% of consumers using a mobile wallet-based loyalty programme.
Mobile wallet usage has been steadily increasing in recent years, having now reached and exceeded $55,679 billion in global market value — and that value will continue to grow.
But the use case for mobile wallets now extends beyond payment alone. Customers today are finding that mobile wallets are an easy and convenient way to store loyalty cards, organise vouchers, and redeem coupons — particularly in physical retail stores.
Brands, in turn, find that mobile wallets offer a new way to reach a wide audience of mobile users, without needing an app.
Key cited benefits for those who purchase items using digital discounts or coupons include keeping discount codes organised (25%); the speed of purchase compared to paper counterparts (31%); and the ease with which you can check your savings (32%).
With almost two thirds (65%) of consumers actively comfortable using digital coupons/vouchers, and 64% for digital loyalty cards, these benefits are likely to become expectations as the technology continues to grow in adoption.
Just 9% said they were uncomfortable using digital coupons and vouchers, and 10% respectively said that they were uncomfortable using digital loyalty cards.
For those that don’t yet use mobile loyalty cards, the #1 reason is that they aren’t loyal enough to any one brand to justify adopting them.
With previous research from Emarsys finding the cost-of-living crisis saw 56% of consumers switch from a brand they were loyal to save money and 19% of consumers feel they could “no longer afford to be loyal”, so brands need to find the ‘value exchange’ that motivates customers to commit to a brand in that sense again.
“Today’s savvy consumers won’t tolerate poor experiences or rewards that miss the mark. Earning their loyalty means deeply understanding what each individual values and delivering it at precisely the right time on the channel they prefer,” explains Kelsey Jones, Global Head of Product Marketing at SAP Emarsys.
“Imagine checking out at your favourite store and simply pulling up your iPhone to pay with Apple Pay and there waiting for you in the palm of your hand, are the exact coupons and loyalty card you need in one place.”
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