November 11, 2019 | Chris Morse
In a recent study conducted by Ipsos and commissioned by PayPal, we took a look at the latest trends in mobile commerce (mCommerce) across the globe. It’s no surprise that consumers are buying on mobile at a rate greater than ever before. That’s why we also looked into key trends related to mobile shopping habits and merchant readiness, how security remains top-of-mind in English speaking countries, and the fact that shopping on social platforms is growing at an unprecedented rate – despite being a relatively new phenomena.
Merchants Must Prioritize Mobile Channels to Close the Optimization Gap
Businesses must offer mobile optimized experiences if they are interested in attracting and maintaining younger consumers, such as Gen Z and Gen Y. Across all age groups, nearly 80% of the consumers we surveyed have shopped via smartphone – yet only 63% are optimized to accept mobile payments. That’s a 15-percentage-point gap in businesses who are missing out by not taking advantage of the explosive growth of mobile commerce.
For millions of small businesses around the world, offering a seamless mobile experience has not been a priority to ensuring their businesses’ survival. However, if these businesses were to prioritize mobile, it could lead to fewer abandoned carts and sales from 15% more potential customers.
Across the world:
  • India is leading the way in mobile commerce usage, with 70% of Indian consumer respondents preferring to use mobile for shopping and 81% of Indian merchants optimized for mobile shopping.
  • At 83%, Italy is the top European market for consumers to make online purchases via smartphone; at the same time, only 65% of Italian businesses reported having a mobile optimized site or app.
  • In the US, 72% of consumers have used a smartphone to pay online, while 57% of businesses reported offering a mobile optimized experience; this is the second lowest figure of all countries surveyed.
Security and Trust Remain Significant Barriers for Adoption in Nearly All Geographies 
Security and trust are significant considerations in consumers’ mobile purchasing decisions. Globally, 51% of consumer respondents would be less likely to engage with mobile commerce due to security concerns, but certain countries, including Japan, are the less concerned about this by a rate of nearly half (28%). In contrast, the markets surveyed that are the most concerned about security when purchasing via mobile include UK (64%), Australia (63%), and the US (58%) – all English-speaking markets. Merchants have also expressed high levels of concern over the security of mobile commerce; the top barrier for merchants in optimizing for mobile is security concerns, with 1 in 5 merchants stating hesitation due to an interest in ensuring customer data is well-secured.
Merchants are Matching Consumers’ Demand for Social Commerce
Supply and demand for social commerce is aligned between consumers and merchants, with 1 in 3 merchant respondents – and 1 in 3 consumer respondents – sharing they utilize social commerce. However, the prevalence of social commerce varies based on geography – with the highest popularity in India, where 57% of consumers have reported using social commerce in the past 6 months. When it comes to the types of social platforms most frequently used on a global level, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are in the lead (35% of respondents that utilize social commerce do so on Facebook properties). As social commerce grows in popularity, there will be an increasingly a close eye on the data collected during the social shopping experience and its potential implications, especially with research showing security is top-of-mind for both consumers and merchants.
Additional insights uncovered from the research, include:
  • Customer Choice is Key: The leading reason for consumer mobile purchase abandonment stems from merchants not offering customers’ preferred payment method. In fact, 21% of consumer respondents globally have abandoned a purchase because their preferred payment method was not available.Among respondents, the largest percentage of mobile shoppers use PayPal for purchases via mobile (53%) followed by the next most-used payment type: credit card (44%).
  • In-Store Experiences Go Mobile: 87% of merchant respondents that sell in-person have accepted sales via a contactless payment – with 50% of these instances taking place with a smartphone. India is leading when it comes to in-store contactless purchasing, with 98% of Indian merchant respondents having accepted a smartphone or wearable purchase in the past 6 months.
  • Women Leading the Way in Mobile Commerce Adoption: Women are leading the way in the adoption of mobile commerce, with 48% of women preferring to make online purchases via a mobile device vs. 39% of men. When it comes to location, 19% of females use their mobile device to shop at work, whereas that number jumps to 26% with male respondents.
By putting these insights to work and partnering with experts, like PayPal, business owners should feel well-equipped to take on the world of selling online. Looking to 2020 and beyond, there is more potential than ever for merchants to improve the shopping experience for all consumers, while addressing preferences of unique markets. Merchants can take advantage of the rise of mobile and social commerce by working with a partner that enables them to create better digital experiences, while helping them capture more sales, and ultimately drive growth.
Today, more than 23 million merchants rely on PayPal to build, run, and help grow their businesses. PayPal serves as a trusted partner to merchants around the world, offering tools ranging from accepting any payment method across more than 200 markets, leveraging our fraud and risk capabilities and using tools that help business owners get paid faster – like invoicing, and more. To learn more, visit our merchant solutions page.
Source:  On behalf of PayPal, Ipsos interviewed a quota sample1 of c.2000 (22,000 total) consumers (aged 18-74) who owned or used a smartphone and c. 300-500 (4602 in total) business influencers or decision makers who sell or take payments online to Consumers (and businesses) in 11 countries (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, India, Japan, US, Mexico and Brazil). Interviews were conducted online between July 23 and August 25, 2019. Data was weighted in Australia on age and income to replicate study conducted previously. No other weighting was applied.