Given the growth of online shopping and the growing role of the mobile app in retail due to the pandemic, Incognia has decided to focus its second Mobile App Friction Report for 2021 on reviewing the mobile shopping experience and 12 of the most popular mcommerce apps to compare . The following apps were included in the study: Bed, Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Costco, Hobby Lobby, The Home Depot, JO-ANN, Lowe’s, Sephora, Target, Ulta Beauty, Walmart and Wayfair.
As a result of the pandemic, there will be many changes in consumer purchasing behavior in 2021. Social distancing and restricted access to stores have given online shopping a huge boost as mobile device adoption accelerates with new consumer buying patterns merging online and offline experiences. In 2020, online purchase and in-store pickup (BOPIS) became a new shopping method for many consumers. Customers are also quickly adopting contactless forms of payment, including in-app payments, to minimize physical contact. For many customers, 2020 was the first time they made a purchase on their mobile device. In addition, consumers are increasingly using retailers’ mobile apps to not only make purchases but also manage in-store or roadside purchases.
For retailers, the shopping experience is where the customer experience begins and can also end if the process is too complicated or creates too much friction. The Incognia Retail Mobile App Study examined the shopping experience, captured screenshots, and measured the steps taken to complete a purchase. The report uses this data to compute an M-Commerce Checkout Friction Index and ranking for each app. The list of apps tested includes not only mobile apps from major retailers, but also apps for specialist retailers, including beauty products, handicrafts and fabrics. We wanted to review the buying process for a selection of mcommerce apps that represent different types of products as well as the size of the user base.
Overall Lowes; The home depot; Bed bath in addition; and Sephora’s mobile apps were the winners for the lowest friction m-commerce checkout, which has the lowest combination of clicks, screens, fields, and total purchase time required.
Other important results are:
- BOPIS was supported in more than 60 percent of the apps examined in the study and shows how quickly retailers have adapted their mobile strategies to support the new buying behavior of consumers.
- Eighty percent of the apps examined in this study supported PayPal for in-app payments, compared to 20 percent that supported Apple Pay.
- Home improvement, craft and fabric apps provided the fastest checkout times on mobile and demonstrated how retailers are removing the friction in market segments where sales have increased during the pandemic.
Dealers can download the full report for free here.
The number of retail apps offering roadside or in-store pickup reflects the significant change in buying behavior caused by social distancing. Each of the apps that support pickup purchase options asked the customer to allow location permissions to find the closest store, specific item or offer, and also to anticipate when the customer would arrive to pick up an order, what is the roadside pickup time saves.
PayPal’s popularity as an in-app payment option (80 percent) is also noteworthy when compared to the presence of Apple Pay as an option (20 percent). With in-app payment capabilities, retail apps provide the ability to further connect online and offline experiences and support convenient payment options at home and in business.
With the reopening of stores in the US, retailers will have the opportunity to continue building customer loyalty through their mobile apps. Many consumers will continue to opt for convenient mobile app shopping using BOPIS and in-app payments. Other consumers are eager to return to stores and with their mobile devices in hand, retailers can continue to build customer loyalty and new shopping experiences through their mobile apps.
Paula Skokowski is Chief Marketing Officer at Incognia, a privacy-friendly digital identity solution for mobile apps that enables real-time recognition of trusted users during onboarding, login and payments.