More than half of U.S. smartphone owners (56 percent) have abandoned a mobile transaction, according to a study of 2,019 adult American consumers, which was sponsored by Jumio and conducted by Harris Interactive.
This was down from the 2013 survey, which found that 66 percent of respondents failed to complete a transaction due to issues during checkout.
After purchase uncertainty, respondents ranked usability issues among their top reasons for abandoning a purchase or account registration. These include slow loading times (36 percent) and difficulty getting through the checkout process (31 percent).
"Businesses who sell or offer services through the mobile channel expend so much money and effort to get their prospects to their apps only to have a large percent of transactions fall by the wayside for a reason they actually have control over: the user experience," Marc Barach, chief marketing and strategy officer at Jumio, told eWEEK. "Since we now expect most things anytime and anywhere, mobile fraud is growing as well. That’s because consumers still prioritize convenience over security and the survey brought that out as well."
Barach said this is a significant problem since consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices for sensitive transactions such as banking and other financial services.
"Consumers need to make sure they’re transacting with secure businesses that uphold strong authentication measures but do so in a way that accelerates the transaction, not inhibit it," he explained.
Apparel, the largest mobile commerce sector, is also the most frequently abandoned, with three in five (60 percent) of those surveyed reporting abandoning such purchases.
These rates vary by gender and age, with women (68 percent) more likely to abandon a clothing or apparel transaction than men (51 percent), especially female Millennials (78 percent).
"For mobile purchasing, businesses must ensure the checkout process is as simple and efficient as possible. As it relates to abandonment of new account opening, anything that can be done to streamline the process and reduce the amount of manual key entry will increase the completion rate," Barach said. "The average mobile checkout typically requires 75 keystrokes — which translates to 75 chances for error and can take about a minute to complete."
He noted transactions that require additional information, such as opening a bank account, take longer and consumers expect that but even in those cases, making it easy for the consumer translates directly to the bottom line.
The study also found that nearly a quarter of consumers abandon their attempts at opening an online game (27 percent) or financial services account (23 percent) , and more than a third (34 percent) of those who abandon a transaction do not attempt again.