A World of Preferences – How Different Nations Shop on Their Phones

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By Published On: October 10, 20180 Comments

Worldpay has surveyed 16,000 consumers across the globe to find out how consumers are really using their phones to shop online.

Do you think you make more purchases on your computer or your mobile device? In 2017, mobiles accounted for 60 percent of the $2.3 trillion of sales worldwide, a number and proportion that is only likely to increase in the future.
However, not all mobile users around the world are the same. Nation by nation, person by person, there are different preferences, limits and approaches to mobile shopping. This is why we asked 16,000 smartphone users in 10 countries their preferences for using their phones. Here are a few things we learned.

In India, Biometrics are Happily Used. In the UK, Not so Much

India has the lowest level of smartphone penetration out of all the markets surveyed. However, the market is growing rapidly and those that do own and use smartphones have very unique ways of using them.
When it comes to paying on mobile sites, streamlining is crucial for Indian users. Although cash on delivery remains the most popular form of payment (63 percent), the ability to confirm an order instantly using biometrics is seen favourably by 72 percent of users. By comparison, in the UK personal data appears to be less readily offered up. Just 42 percent of the market, which is the largest in Europe, offers up biometric data to confirm purchases.

Mobile Purchasing is Popular, but not for High-Value Items 

Across the board, we learned that, while mobile is increasingly popular when compared to purchasing on a computer, it tends to be for smaller, less significant purchases. For Australia and Germany for example, 90 percent and 80 percent respectively will spend up to a maximum of 250 dollars or euros on their mobile device. Any purchase greater than that will either be on a computer or in person.
The reason for this is open for debate, but one theory is that significant purchases are often made reluctantly. For the purchaser to be comfortable, they need to check every minute detail before pressing the order button, something that is much easier to do on a larger computer screen. Fortunately, as mobile purchasing becomes even more ubiquitous, this psychological barrier is likely to shift.

Favoured Payment Methods are Diverse

From nation to nation, there is no real pattern of favoured payment method. While Australia, Germany and the UK overwhelmingly prefer PayPal, likely because on the one-click functionality and no need to set up an account for a website, other nations vouched for credit cards, debit cards and cash-on-delivery options. National services like Alipay and Boleto Bancario are also very popular in China and Brazil respectively, making it very hard for one payment system to stand out around the world. It’s best to embrace as many options as you can in order to cater to a wide audience of different tastes across the globe.
For more information and to see our research in full, download the Mobile Payment Journey research
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