Tablets and smartphones may be the key drivers behind the sharp decline in PC sales worldwide, but the bulk of holiday shoppers looking for an online deal on Cyber Monday will be doing so on a desktop or laptop PC rather than a mobile device, according to analysts at Ovum.
Consumers continue to worry about the security and data privacy around mobile commerce, banking and payments, which have them continuing to opt for their PCs when it comes to online shopping, according to a Consumer Insights survey published Dec. 2.
"The implications of these findings are profound for the growing mobile commerce ecosystem, as when it comes to digital commerce, consumers clearly still feel more comfortable with their PC and laptop," Angel Dobardziev, principal analyst at Ovum, said in a statement. "This shows that operator strategies that factor in rapid adoption of mobile commerce services need a reality check. Furthermore, the industry must design services that build on users' comfort with e-commerce over the PC and extend it to the m-commerce domain."
Tablets and smartphones continue to see strong sales at the expense of PCs. Canalys analysts said Nov. 26 that tablets will account for almost half of all PCs shipped in 2014, and IDC analysts earlier this year said tablet shipments will surpass those of portable PCs this year. In addition, IHS analysts said Nov. 26 that smartphones and tablets are replacing PCs as the key drivers behind global processor shipments.
However, when it comes to online shopping, consumers prefer their PCs, according to Ovum. The firm, which surveyed more than 15,000 consumers in 15 global markets, found that 68 percent would rather use a notebook or desktop PC when shopping on the Internet, while only one in five uses a smartphone and 14 percent use a tablet.
The key concerns about mobile devices are that services are not secure—according to 49 percent of those taking the survey—or that their personal data would be misused (47 percent).
The reluctance to use mobile devices for online shopping may be around for a while, according to Ovum. Fifty percent of respondents said they have no plans to use mobile payments in the next 12 months, and less than 20 percent use mobile-commerce transactions on a regular basis. The exception is when checking bank balances—35 percent use that service regularly, the Ovum analysts said. Unsurprisingly, it's younger consumers—in the 16-to-34 age group—who are most likely to use mobile payment systems. In fact, they're twice as likely to do so than those 35 and older.
"There is no doubt that eventually we'll see mobile devices used for the majority of our online services, but in the m-commerce sector there is still some way to go," Ovum's Dobardziev said. "To succeed, service providers will need to carefully understand and effectively address the subtle differences that concerned consumers have with using mobile money and mobile commerce services."