Why People Choose to Shop—or Not to Shop—on Their Phones

Study shows what’s working in mobile commerce and what isn’t

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Mobile shopping isn't going anywhere this year.

More than 60 percent of omnichannel shoppers said they plan to start making purchases using mobile devices or will do so even more in the upcoming year, according to a new study released today by Facebook. (Already, 45 percent of all shopping includes some form of mobile interaction including doing research, comparing prices or making purchases. Among millennials, that number jumps to 57 percent.)

Facebook IQ commissioned GfK to study 2,400 adults who had used mobile phones, tablets, desktops or laptops to research or buy items online in the past three months. Purchasing categories included clothing, consumer electronics, home appliances, home goods and beauty.

The study also looked at why those shopping on mobile devices chose to use them. Fifty-six percent said it was because they already happened to be on a device, while 55 percent pointed to the convenience it afforded. 

But the study also shows there are obstacles when it comes to mobile shopping. Around 70 percent of mobile shoppers said website and app experiences could be improved, and 71 percent said the transaction experience itself needed some work. Facebook said making it easier to enter payment information, being able to ship to multiple addresses and being able to make transactions without downloading a retailer's app are among the ways the process could be improved. Additionally, 54 percent of respondents said they'd be more likely to shop online if they could do so across more devices.

"Viewing the path to purchase through separate channels—mobile versus desktop versus offline—doesn't reflect the way the world is changing," Facebook said in a blog post. "The rise in m-commerce presents brands with a chance to rewrite the rules of success by adapting to change and building a future-ready business."

Figuring out the mobile-commerce game is a priority for many people in North America. A recent study by Shop.org, Forrester Research and Bizrate Insights found that 59 percent of marketers said figuring out mobile is their top priority for 2016. Site merchandising, overhauling checkout and omnichannel efforts were also listed as priorities this year. (In contrast, 6 percent listed social media as a priority in 2016.)

Here's a breakdown of stats from the study that describe what makes people prefer desktops, laptops or in-store experiences to mobile:





@martyswant martin.swant@adweek.com Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.