Survey Results: Mobile Devices and Shopping

Merchant Warehouse |

October 29, 2013

Mobile Commerce

Mobile devices and shopping – topics that are particularly relevant this time of year as the holiday season quickly approaches. Over the past six months Merchant Warehouse conducted a survey of over 550 consumers and merchants on how mobile devices are changing shopping behaviors. The survey, which was aimed at a general population of consumers and small business owners through social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and viral share), revealed some interesting learnings.

Merchant Findings:

  • Merchants see the looming EMV deadline as an opportunity to upgrade their current payment acceptance devices.
    • More than 25% expect to upgrade their POS current device to include NFC within the next 1-3 years.
    • About 33% expect to upgrade their current POS device to include QR Codes within the next 1-3 years.
  • An increasing number of customers are asking merchants to use their phone to make in-store purchases.
    • 29.3% of merchants reported customers asked to make in-store purchases via phone within the last 6 months.
  • About 90% of merchants surveyed report varying degrees of familiarity with mobile payments.
  • 82% of merchants see mobile payments as a way to leverage enhanced customer engagement opportunities.


Consumer Findings:

  • Though cash and credit/debit cards still rule retail, 44% of consumers report making an in-store purchase via mobile device within the last 6 months (in 2013).
    • Of those purchases, about 33% were made with some form of QR Code.
    • Consumers also highlighted their use of branded payment apps, like Starbucks and PayPal.
  • A chief concern for consumers around mobile payments is security, as 34.6% listed it as a top priority
    • Coming in second on priority items was ease of use at 26%.
    • Another 37.6% of consumers say they would consider paying via mobile device if they knew it had a security advantage over their credit/debit card.
  • 91.6% of the respondents are smartphone users.


There’s no denying that smartphone and tablet usage is changing the retail experience, both for the consumer and the merchant. Consumers already rely heavily on their mobile devices and even with slower than expected adoption, there is no denying the eventual convergence between payments and the smartphone. And, the advent of tablet based POS systems, like those from GoPago, Revel, LightSpeed, and eMobilePOS (to name just a few) are delivering new options for merchants in terms of engagement, business management and even mobile commerce.

As a result of our survey, it’s obvious that mobile payments are on the mind of both groups, but only time will tell as to the acceleration of adoption and usage. For merchants, customer requests along with the 2015 EMV liability shift seem to be initial drivers of both awareness and future plans. For consumers, if the security is there, it’s just a matter of time.