Report: E-Commerce Continues to Grow but Merchants Must Focus on Consumer Priorities to Keep Up 

April 26, 2012

While only seven percent of online shoppers worldwide currently spend more than half of their disposable income online, 64 percent say they will consider doing so in the near future, according to an ambitious survey of online shopping habits commissioned by payments processor WorldPay. Researchers surveyed more than 19,000 consumers in 15 major economies and found 55 percent use laptops, 19 percent use smartphones and 11 percent use tablets to make e-commerce purchases. Mobile devices, however, are becoming more popular among “heavy spenders” (those who spent more than 30 percent of their disposable income online in the past year) with 55 percent having used a smartphone and 67 percent having used a tablet to buy online in the last three months.

“Online shoppers are becoming increasingly mobile, no longer chained to their PC to buy goods and services,” says Philip McGriskin, chief product officer for WorldPay. “The way shoppers engage with mobile devices is evolving and driving the future of e-commerce as consumers look to purchase through apps, mobile Websites and using their device on the move. This increased mobility is expanding the audience of potential consumers for merchants to target but, in tandem, presents challenges in offering the best experience for these consumers whenever and wherever they demand it. As technologies develop merchants will need to be ahead of the game to understand and offer consumers the services they demand.”

There does seem to be a disconnect between what merchants and consumers think drives repeat business, according to the report. Sixty-seven percent of merchants believe the design and layout of the Website is the top factor driving repeat purchases, while 62 percent think it’s the quality of Website navigation and 62 percent believe the overall speed of the buying experience is consumers’ top priority. More customers, however, cited the security of personal or financial information (75 percent), payment security checks (66 percent) and guarantees and warrantees provided for products and services (62 percent) as their actual priorities driving repeat business.