According to a PYMNTS and LISNR report entitled "Which Apps Do They Want?" most shoppers use paper or plastics — 63.9% of respondents say they use credit cards, 63.4% use debit cards and 55.7% use cash — to purchase goods in store. Only 12% of shoppers use retailers’ apps to pay in store and only 11% use mobile wallets, PYMNTS found.
Consumers appear to have a limit when it comes to downloading retailers' apps. Although more than eight out of 10 have downloaded at least one mass merchant app onto their mobile devices, (with Amazon, Walmart or Target dominating), about eight in 10 have five or fewer retailer apps, per the report.
Data security and mobile storage also remain critical factors in consumer reticence to download apps, the report found. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they did not want to because they already have too many on their mobile devices, and 59.5% of respondents also cited data security concerns as a reason why they won't download apps in the future, according to the report.
Retailers shouldn’t be shocked by the revelation that consumers are wary of downloading apps in fear of data security breaches. In fact, it's a concern that has remained top of mind for retailers for some time now. After all, data breaches cost major retailers such as Home Depot and Target millions of dollars to resolve.
As the PYMNTS report noted, consumers are more aware of retailers’ data breach struggles thanks to their constant recurrence in the news cycle. For retailers, it can be difficult to determine when is the best time to come forward with data breach information without wrongfully concealing information from consumers and causing a panic.
Aside from data security and storage space concerns, 22.6% of respondents noted that they have no desire to download current apps because they lack features of interest, which suggests that retailers have a ways to go in successfully bridging online and offline shopping experiences. Still, nearly half use apps while shopping to find discounts, 43.3% to find product information and about a third to compare prices, according to the report.
Meaningfully adding convenience via a payment app would be one way to spur use. About 46% of mobile app users said they'd be open to using a retailer's app to pay if that meant they could skip the checkout line, quite a few more than the 36% expressing interested in merchant payment apps at regular checkout, PYMNTS found.
"It is imperative for merchants to improve their data security measures in addition to offering more shopping features and faster, easier checkouts," the report advised.