Welcome to Klarna’s mobile shopping report!
Consumer shopping habits have changed. More reliant on digital devices than ever before and with a growing preference towards mobile which is driving significant behavioral changes among consumers, today there is an increased demand for convenience and flexibility while shopping.
As Klarna has recently launched its new shopping app, we took the opportunity to examine how the rise of mobile has changed consumer shopping habits, as well as to identify the emerging trends that will shape shopping in the future as consumers continue to embrace the mobile experience.
In summary, as shopping becomes more mobile-oriented consumers are looking for a digital-first shopping experience overall, with streamlined shopping apps, digital credit cards, and more.
Klarna’s Shopping App Survey was sent out online in collaboration with research agency Dynata to a representative sample of more than 13 000 participants from 13 countries, conducted in collaboration with research agency Dynata.
This report uses additional consumer research conducted with NEPA across 11 countries (the US, UK, Australia, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Norway, and Finland). The research is conducted on a quarterly basis and always includes a minimum of 1000 respondents in each country per quarter. In total, 18,000 consumers participated during Q4 2021 (October-December).
High usage of mobile phones when shopping.
Mobile phones have grown to become one of the most prominent channels for shopping. They have changed the way consumers shop online, helping people to discover and find what they need quickly, wherever they are and at whatever time.
Mobile shopping as common practice.
Shopping has become increasingly mobile-oriented, with 71% of people on average saying they have shopped on their mobile.
5 in 7
consumers have already shopped on their mobile phones.
of Americans have already shopped on their mobile phones.
Mobile shopping is on the rise compared to two years ago (before the pandemic).
Many consumers have changed their purchasing habits as a result of the pandemic, with more now turning to their mobile devices to carry out their shopping needs. Although much of the growth in mobile shopping compared to two years ago is Gen Z and Millennial-driven, this trend is reflective across demographics.
of Gen Z’ers have shopped more on their mobile phones compared to two years ago, compared to 56% of the general population
1 in 2
Baby Boomers in the US, the UK and France have done the same
An increased preference for mobile phones when shopping.
Although the majority of consumers still prefer to purchase online using traditional desktops or laptops, a number of consumers prefer to use mobile devices, and this preference is on the rise.
- There is a clear trend for increasing mobile preference in the Nordics. Meanwhile, German shoppers are turning in the opposite direction.
- The US is the only country where the majority of shoppers have a higher preference for mobile devices than computers.
- The only countries with a mobile preference lower than 30% are Belgium and France. Four countries (Austria, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden) have a preference below 30% but mobile shopping has clearly trended upwards during 2021.
Millennials rely more on their smartphones for online shopping.
Preferring to shop on mobile correlates with consumers who have a higher online shopping frequency in general. In general, preference for mobile shopping is highest among younger generations (Millennials and Gen Xers).
This chart illustrates the preference for mobile shopping for consumer groups that are well above the general average.
shop online at least once a week on their mobile phone.
of Millennials shop at least once a week on their mobile phone.
In-store with a digital footprint.
The ability to research products online before visiting a store is an integral part of the path to purchase. Many shoppers start their shopping journey by doing research online using their mobile devices before visiting the store to shop for their final purchases.
The in-store shopping journey begins online.
The digital evolution does not only mean people are shopping more online. Online research, also called “webrooming,” plays an important role throughout the in-store shopping journey. The majority of modern day trips to the mall start online.
The chart below illustrates the percentage of in-store shoppers who usually research online before shopping in physical stores.
- Online pre-search is most prevalent for Clothing, Electronics and Beauty products.
- Electronics stands out as a high pre-search category. Consistent across all generations, at least 8 out of 10 shoppers say that they research items in this category before buying in-store.
Online research has become part of the in-store shopping experience.
The evolution of smartphones has forever changed the in-store shopping experience. Similar to online, in-store shoppers are also making comparisons for competitive prices and offers and checking product reviews and testimonials to make sure they are buying the right product. If you see someone on their phone in a store, there’s a high chance they are doing some additional product research before making a final purchase.
The chart below illustrates the hare of in-store shoppers using their smartphone to research products while in physical stores.
- Americans, Australians and Scandinavians do this most often.
- The stereotypical Nordic preference for having more personal space may come as quite handy for in-store shoppers wanting to keep shop owners unaware that they are not texting or checking the weather, but in fact using their mobile to draw price comparisons and see whether the grass is greener somewhere else.
Overview of mobile shopping-related activities.
Mobile shopping has also changed the way consumers interact with brands. As a growing number of consumers embrace mobile, the expectations on the online experience continues to reach new heights. Nowadays, people are looking for a seamless online shopping experience, that meets their personal needs.
More informed mobile shoppers.
While the digitalization of retail has given additional power to the consumer—including more choice and information—it has also made the decision-making process more complex.Drawing price comparisons and searching for deals and promotions are the most common activities people do when shopping online, followed closely by the ability to manage bought and returned items through delivery tracking.
9 in 10
consumers compare prices and look for deals and promotions online.
of consumers keep track of their deliveries and returns
Virtual cards on the rise.
Virtual cards, also known as electronic cards, can be used when making online purchases and act as replacements to regular physical cards.
This chart illustrates the percentage of consumers across the globe who have heard of virtual cards and those who have also used them when making online purchases.
3 in 5
consumers have heard of virtual cards for online transactions
2 in 5
of Gen Z and Millennials have used virtual cards for online shopping
Reasons behind using a virtual card when shopping.
Convenience is key. When shopping online, consumers are actively searching for more efficient and quicker ways to checkout, making it the first driver for using a virtual card.
use virtual cards for convenience in the US.
1 in 2
consumers use virtual cards for improved anonymity, privacy and security.
Online shoppers embracing virtual cards in the future.
When making future online purchases, it is clear that virtual cards are going to be increasingly embraced by consumers.
US Millennials would prefer using a virtual card for their future online purchases.
4 in 5
of Gen Zers would purchase with a virtual card when shopping online.
High usage of mobile apps and shopping apps.
Consumers today have a vast selection of apps installed on their phones, ranging from travel and transportation to shopping, music, and healthcare, among many others. Nonetheless, only a few apps are being used on a weekly basis and consumers express clear frustrations in regards to the number of apps on their devices and how they need to continuously switch between them.
Apps downloaded on one’s phone.
is the average number of downloaded apps a Norwegian or Dutch consumer has on its phone.
is the average number of apps on a Gen Zer’s phone.
Smartphone owners are only using a few apps on a weekly basis.
Although smartphone users are spending more time in apps than before, there is an upper limit as to how many apps a consumer regularly uses on a weekly basis. Consumers have a limited level of engagement with most of their installed apps.
On average, only a few mobile apps are used on a weekly basis.
1 in 4
uses between only 1 to 10% of their mobile apps.
of consumers use more than half of their existing apps.
High number of shopping apps downloaded.
On average, 1 in 5 consumers have approximately 6 to 10 shopping apps downloaded on their mobile devices.
Number of shopping apps used on a weekly basis.
Among the consumers who have shopping apps installed on their phones, on average over 80% use only 1 to 5 (or none at all) on a weekly basis.
Shopping apps overload.
Although mobile shopping is now common practice, the majority of consumers think they have too many shopping apps on their phones.
The chart illustrates the number of apps a consumer considers of no use and would like to delete off their phone whilst going through their installed shopping apps.
1 in 4
would delete more than half of their existing shopping apps.
of Swedish consumers would delete more than half of their existing shopping apps.
Preference for one single shopping app.
The majority of consumers would like to move away from a very cluttered and complex shopping app landscape and have expressed clear interest in having one single shopping app to simplify their online shopping experience.
Overwhelmed by too many apps.
The majority of consumers feel overwhelmed about the number of shopping apps available.
The chart illustrates the percentage of consumers feeling overwhelmed by the amount of available shopping apps
of consumers across the globe feel overwhelmed by the number of apps available.
of Finnish and Dutch consumers feel overwhelmed by the number of apps available.
Preference for one single shopping app.
Consumers are embracing the idea of having one single app that consolidates shopping, payments and post-purchase management, such as order management, delivery and returns tracking – all in one place.
would prefer to have one single app that incorporates all the features of the shopping apps they currently use.
3 in 4
Gen Z and Millennials would prefer to have one single app.
The advantages of having one global shopping app.
Simplicity and convenience seem to be the key motivators for having one single shopping app, allowing consumers to perform multiple actions in one place, as opposed to having to switch between different apps.
70% would use one app because they feel it simplifies the whole shopping experience.
68% of consumers are shopping on mobile devices because it saves them time.
The future of mobile shopping.
would prefer having one single app that would incorporate all the features of the shopping apps they currently use.
3 in 4
of Gen Z and Millennials would prefer having one single app.
That’s it for this time!
The insights in Klarna’s Shopping Pulse is updated on a quarterly basis, so stay tuned for future updates.
Thirsty for more knowledge?
Make sure to check out the other reports that are available at Klarna Insights!