GfK FutureBuy: Mobile Shopping, Mobile Payments Now Vital

November 15, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

With the holiday shopping season now in full bloom, a closer look at the overall shopping market makes some sense. There’s big news afoot on every front, as revealed by the new GfK FutureBuy research study. GfK sent us out some highlights from the new report and the news is something of a mixed bag, depending on where you offer your product line.

The big news is that mobile is now a fully-fledged part of the shopping ecosystem. The FutureBuy study noted that nearly half—45 percent—of consumers now consider the mobile device to be an “essential shopping tool.” That’s up from just 29 percent who felt likewise in 2017.

The use of smartphones varies wildly, though; 36 percent use them for price comparisons, while getting information in general came in for 30 percent. A likewise 30 percent used them for finding product reviews.

Brick-and-mortar shops, meanwhile, got some good news, of a sort, from the study. The showrooming practice appears to have leveled off, with 23 percent of shoppers engaging in the practice. The bad news, however, was that nearly half—48 percent—could see a future in which they mostly didn’t bother with retail shopping at all. That too is up; only 37 percent could see such a fate last year.

As for mobile payments, adoption rates are holding steady. Seventeen percent of consumers in the US used a smartphone or similar device to pay for a product. That’s close to the global average at 19 percent, and well behind the Asia-Pacific average of 29 percent. On a hopeful note, 28 percent of US consumers look forward to using more mobile payments, up from 17 percent in 2017.

Mobile payments aren’t gaining a lot of ground, but they certainly aren’t losing much of it either. In a world where cash is still king and the credit card not far behind, mobile payments’ showing is actually fairly decent. That so many consumers are looking to a future with more of it in play is even better. It’s also noteworthy that the brick-and-mortar shop  is far from dead.

The future of mobile is looking brighter, as more mobile use cases come into play and give us new opportunities to advance. Seeing where we go from here should be quite the ride.