UK shoppers reluctant to download new shopping apps, report says

British shoppers have embraced mobile commerce, but the nation lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to using shopping apps, according to new research.

37% of Brits still prefer to purchase online items via a mobile browser over an app, more than any other country globally, found a survey of more than 16,000 people across 10 countries carried out by payment processing company Worldpay.

Many British fashion brands, including Net-A-Porter, River Island, Quiz, Boohoo, Missguided and Asos, have created their own apps over the last years. Celebrity fashion brand In The Style was the latest brand to join the app space this week.

But despite this push, Brits have on average just 7 apps downloaded onto their mobile device, compared to a global average of 10. The increasing offer is also making consumers become more selective, with 77% of those surveyed saying they would only consider downloading apps from brands that they know and trust.


According to Worldpay, apps that offer a more luxury, personalised shopping service will become winners as new apps continue to emerge. Indeed, 31% of UK consumers are willing to pay more for a product if the brand gives them “five-star” shopping experience, rising to 43% among millennials.

“The UK mCommerce market is one of the fastest growing in the world, but it is also among the most demanding. Consumers are reluctant to download new apps, and quick to axe those that don’t prove valuable, meaning it is no longer enough for brands to develop an app for purely functional purposes,” comments Shane Happach, executive vice president, head of global enterprise e-commerce, at Worldpay, Inc.

“Our research reveals the number one reason for smartphone basket abandonment in the UK is a long checkout process, which serves as an important reminder to merchants that the latest in smartphone technology, from fingerprint scanning to facial recognition, can help create a faster and friction-free user experience. We also found that time-strapped shoppers are increasingly turning to their smartphones for a ‘concierge’ style service – and they’re willing to pay a premium for it.”

Research has shown that retailers which focus on offering consumers a five-star personal shopping service, and quick and easy checkout process, will enjoy big rewards. Indeed, nearly one quarter of UK app users spent more than £50 on their last purchase, making a strong case for quality apps.

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