TECHNOLOGY

Mobile is a priority for shoppers

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

More consumers will be reaching for their smartphones this holiday season.

This was according to new data from RootMetrics that revealed many consumers (45%) plan to use their smartphone for online shopping. Millennials are even bigger fans of mobile shopping, with over half (52%) plan to use a smartphone to purchase the bulk of holiday gifts.

Mobile pay, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same hype. In fact, 37% of consumers don’t think mobile pay apps compare in convenience to traditional cash or credit cards. Another 36% worry their data is not secure on these platforms.

The good news is smartphones are driving the adoption of other connected devices, which offers retailers more opportunities to connect with mobile shoppers. When it comes to Internet of Things (IoT) adoption, 21% of consumers in the United States use a smartphone to run an IoT device at least once a day.

However, many still aren’t convinced it is time to adopt smart devices. When asked why they wouldn’t purchase a connected device, like Alexa or a smart TV, 32% said they don’t have a need for this technology.

As mobile usage increases, shoppers are becoming less tolerant when it comes to sketchy network connections — not only from a frustration level but also when it comes to their safety. In fact, 47% noted they feel unsafe in a mobile “dead zone.” While 42% men noted feeling unsafe in a dead zone, 52% of women noted the same, including two-thirds (67%) of Millennial women.

When it comes to assigning blame for poor service, 46% of consumers blame their carriers over location or device, data revealed.

“A strong mobile network performance is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity,” said Kevin Hasley, head of product at RootMetrics and executive director of performance benchmarking. “Today’s connected consumers demand a network that can keep up with their daily needs. As the IoT and other mobile technologies continue to evolve, we can expect carriers to invest in improving their networks to meet changing expectations and offer consumers a fast, secure connection.”

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