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Retailers Excited about Mobile Commerce, Shoppers Not So Much

Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

April 25, 2014

Retailers Excited about Mobile Commerce, Shoppers Not So Much

By David Delony
Contributing Writer

Retailers are excited about mobile shopping but actual shoppers are nowhere near as enthusiastic about the technology, according to Retale, a site that aggregates weekly retail circulars.

"For retailers looking to maximize traffic and sales, understanding consumer motives and desires is the best way to improve the shopping experience," said  Retale president Patrice Dermody. "And that could mean helping consumers better understand the benefits of these technologies in order to break down the barriers to widespread adoption."

Many shoppers seemed concerned about privacy.

Retale conducted a study and found that 71 percent of the 3,000 mobile users it surveyed didn’t like the idea of being tracked in a store, and 56 percent said they didn’t want push notifications from devices like Apple’s (News - Alert) iBeacon.

A lot of people are completely unaware of these kinds of technologies in the first place. Of the people it surveyed, 75 percent had no idea things like iBeacon existed, and only 11 percent of Android users had tried Google (News - Alert) Wallet. Only 56 percent of users had any idea that there was such as thing as Near Field Communication

iOS users were more receptive to push notifications, but overall nearly split down in middle in favor of and against them. Android (News - Alert) users were mostly against push notifications.

The results come as security and privacy issues have been in the news once again with the revelation of the Heartbleed bug. Although the bug mainly affected websites using SSL rather than mobile apps, shoppers might be concerned that retailers aren’t the only ones tracking them.

Edward Snowden’s leaks revealing how much data the National Security Administration was actually tracking might have also given them pause. If it’s bad enough that retailers are tracking their movements, the idea that the government of doing so seems much worse.

The reason that shoppers distrust these technologies might also be simply because they’re new – and push back is common with any new technologies.

“Just like with any new technology; it often takes time for consumers to adapt and change their buying behaviors," Dermody said.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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