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Report: Consumer adoption of retailer mobile shopping apps and wallets doubles

As mobile shopping continues to grow, consumers are downloading retailer’s mobile apps at double the rate of years past and conducting more in-app purchases, according to new findings from Synchrony.

As the mobile channel becomes critical for retailers, more consumers are leveraging the apps to buy, browse, read product reviews, access coupons and find a local store.

According to new data from the Synchrony 2018 Digital Study, 67% of consumers have downloaded a retailer’s app. More than half of those did so specifically for a coupon or discount offer. Nearly half of consumers that have downloaded a retailer’s app use it for purchases.

“In today’s competitive landscape, a mobile application is not just another piece of technology for retailers, it is a vital tool to engage shoppers with their brand. Done well, retail apps engage both in and out of stores with personalized experiences and easy credit solutions,” said Maya Mikhailov, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer, GPShopper.

“Consumers that use retail mobile applications are a retailer’s top shoppers. As such, they want their apps to be tailored to their unique shopping experiences and preferences.”

Key Finding:

1. Consumers are increasing their purchases through mobile apps, and as a result, many retailers have placed a great deal of focus on this technology. The 2018 Digital Study revealed that consumers are using double the number of retail mobile apps versus a year ago (4 versus 2), and their purchase activity through these apps have increased.

Many retailers are responding to this trend – 47% said they have placed a significant focus on retailer apps. An outcome of this focus is happy customers – 83% of consumers said they are happy with the experience of their retail app. This is a sign that consumers will increase shopping using retail apps in the future.

2. Most shoppers think mobile wallets will replace physical ones by the year 2025
. 60% of US consumers believe that by the year 2025, the average shopper will carry their phone and no physical wallet. Even though consumer adoption of mobile wallets has been slower than expected, many consumers are becoming used to the idea that paying through the smartphone is inevitable.

Who is leading the trend? Yes, it’s the Millennial’s. Surprisingly, older Millennial’s (not younger ones) are the age group most comfortable with only carrying their smart phone. 61% of older Millennial’s are ready to leave their wallets at home right now, while only 42% of the general population are ready to make the switch.

For retailers who have not thought about enabling mobile wallet acceptance, now is the time to start making plans. The Survey showed that most large retailers ($100M+ in sales) have implemented mobile wallet technology (75%), yet only about half of smaller retailers ($10M or less) have done so.

3. Consumers feel very positive about credit card features within the retailer app
. 53% of consumers said they have card servicing features with the app. Of this group, 77% rated the features extremely/very valuable. As a result, retailers are quickly including payment features in their apps, and forward-looking companies are enabling these features.

4. Smart speaker adoption has doubled since 2017
. One in five consumers now say they own a smart speaker. Consumers aged 50 and under are driving usage, but all age groups showed significant growth since last year’s study. Smart speakers are still primarily used to answer routine search requests, but there is great potential for increased usage in shopping, purchasing and customer service.


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