Online shoppers are more likely to use mobile apps as a way of researching and organising goods, but less as a buying tool, leading to the abandonment of purchases, finds a study.
Although mobile apps are rapidly becoming a popular option to shop online these days, the phenomenon of shopping cart abandonment — customers leave without completing the transaction — is much higher than for desktop-based online shopping, the researchers said.
The share of e-commerce traffic from mobile devices increased to 46 percent in 2016, however, only 27 percent of purchases were finalised.
It is because consumers are often unable to see the full picture on a mobile app or that they could be missing out on special offers or overlooking hidden costs.
"The smaller screen size and uncertainty about missing important details about the purchase make you much more ambivalent about completing the transaction than when you are looking at a big screen,"Asaid Nikolaos Korfiatis, professor at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK.
In addition, concerns related to privacy and security issues on the mobile phones also motivates people to put items into their shopping baskets but then quit without paying.
This makes it challenging for the online retailers, who invest heavily in mobile shopping, but are unable to find successful sales.
"Mobile shopping is supposed to make the process easier, and yet concerns about making the right choice, or about whether the site is secure enough leads to an 'emotional ambivalence' about the transaction - and that mean customers are much more likely to simply abandon their shopping carts without completing a purchase," Korfiatis added.
For the study, published in the Journal of Business Research, the researchers studied online shopping data from random consumers.
"Customers are becoming more and more demanding and, with mobile shopping in particular, they don't forgive failures so offering a streamlined, integrated service is really important." the researcher added.