Numerous reports since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic have documented how consumers have responded by switching to e-commerce – some for the first time – but few reports describe the impact on the mobile segment of this number. It turns out that the pandemic has also spurred considerable purchases by cellphone users.
Therefore, mobile wallets in particular, are seeing an increase in usage that they may not have appreciated since enthusiasts’ initial rush to adopt digital tools like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Barely two-thirds of consumers bought something online or in-store at least once using a mobile phone in the past month, according to the results of a poll released Wednesday by BigCommerce Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc. But after March 2020, around 35.2% said they preferred to use a mobile wallet especially when shopping online, while 28.3% said it was their preference before the start of Covid. The survey covered 3,000 consumers in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.
This preference has also extended to in-person purchases. The proportion of respondents who preferred to use mobile wallets at checkout rose to 22.8%, from 12.1% before March last year.
When looking at actual usage versus preferences, the shift to mobile wallets since before the pandemic has been equally remarkable, according to the survey. The number of those who report using online technology more often rose 24.2%, while the same increase for in-store purchases is 88.7%. “Respondents overwhelmingly said they would prefer retailers to make digital payment options more available,” survey sponsors say in a press release presenting the results.
As consumers flock to their computers to shop online, the possibility of buy online, collect in store (BOPIS) has also seen a noticeable increase in usage, according to the survey. In the United States in particular, the number of respondents using the service has increased by 373% since before March 2020, according to the survey. The sponsors note that the result is particularly noteworthy as BOPIS has been “slower to win” in the United States “compared to other countries”.