Most internet users claim to be unfamiliar with retail mobile apps, but younger adults are more likely to have shopped with a retailer’s mobile app, according to a survey CivicScience conducted this spring.
Forty-nine percent of respondents said they’ve never used a retailer mobile app, and 15% had no knowledge of them. But one in five have used a retailer’s mobile app outside of a store and 15% have used one inside a store, a promising sign for merchants working to bridge their sales channels.
Not surprisingly, younger and tech-savvier consumers are most likely to use retail mobile apps, according to CivicScience. About a third of millennials (aged 18-34) said they have used a retail mobile app when they weren’t in the store, compared with 23% of consumers aged 35-54 and 10% of those over age 55. CivicScience surveyed 1,808 internet users May 2-8, 2018.
Measuring mobile payments usage can be tricky, because definitions and data-gathering methods vary widely. Comparing the popularity of Starbucks’ mobile app to Apple Pay, for example, is a false rivalry
because of their differing aims and distribution models. But a recent survey by S&P Global Market Intelligence suggests one of the oldest digital payment apps—PayPal—still dominates over others for in-store purchases.
About 40% of U.S. consumers cited PayPal when asked which mobile app they have used to make a purchase inside a store. Other apps cited included Apple Pay, at 33%, with Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Starbucks’ app tying at about 20%. Branded retail apps like Kohl’s Pay and Walmart Pay came in at 17%, followed by Chase Pay at 13% and the Dunkin’ Donuts app at 11%. S&P Global Market Intelligence surveyed 904 consumers in 2017.
Self-checkout—including new store concepts like Amazon Go
that make the checkout process nearly invisible—is a fast-spreading global trend often pegged to mobile apps.
Walmart has been experimenting for the last three years with self-checkout and in-aisle assisted checkout, while supermarket giant Kroger this year is dramatically expanding its Scan, Bag, Go self-checkout system to more U.S. markets. (Walmart and Kroger are two major merchants that continue to eschew Near Field Communication-based contactless payments in stores.)
Most self-checkout systems leverage bar codes and are linked to users’ mobile apps that include a variety of payment options, including cash.
The vast majority of U.S. consumers seem to accept of the concept. Only 15% of respondents in a recent Field Agent survey said they rarely or never use mobile app-based self-checkout services. When asked how they’d react if their store offered only self-checkout, 11% said they would switch to a different store. Mobile marketing research firm Field Agent surveyed 2,029 U.S. grocery shoppers via its mobile app Jan. 25 and 26, 2018.