Industry Analysis

Mobile Commerce, Consumer Use of QR Codes/NFC/RFID, Consumer Sentiment Towards Mobile Payments & How Mobile is Shaping the Future of Brick and Mortar Retail


We have curated eight pieces of information, data, and/or statistics surrounding consumer sentiment towards mobile commerce. This included, but was not limited to, whether they use a mobile device while in a brick and mortar store, whether they use it to research a product, and whether they use it to do price comparisons. We also presented seven pieces of information, data, and/or statistics surrounding the consumer use of QR codes/NFC/RFID, both in store and online. Additionally, eight pieces of information, data, and/or statistics surrounding consumer sentiment towards mobile payments has been provided, and finally we located seven pieces of information, data, and/or statistics surrounding how mobile is shaping the future of brick and mortar retail. All four projects are focused on the United States. When we could not locate U.S. data, we expanded globally.

Consumer Sentiment: Mobile Commerce

  • Thirty-six percent of United States consumers prefer to use their smartphone or tablet to research a product and to make major new purchases, while fifteen percent revealed that they manage recurring orders directly using their smartphone or tablet.

Attitudes towards online shopping in the U.S. 2020

Using a phone to shop while in-store

The use of smartphones for routine shopping has risen gradually over the past few years and overtake personal computers as the top platform choice for online shopping.

  • According to the How We Shop report, about one quarter (25.4%) of consumers revealed that they were shopping online, and 16.3% percent asserted that they were doing so on mobile more than they were before COVID-19 caused lockdowns and shutdowns in the United States. “That’s not much of a change from the 22.1% and 16.7%, respectively, who reported similar sentiment in the survey at the beginning of March.”
  • A new major consumer survey reveals that consumers want augmented reality (AR) for shopping, and they want it to be available on their mobile device. “Six percent of consumers surveyed said they wanted AR experiences via ads on a mobile device. This can be compared to 40% who said they wanted to experience AR through social media, and 21% who reported that they want to use Google to access AR in search results.”

Consumer Use of QR Codes/NFC/RFID

  • For the purposes of this section of the research, quick response codes (QR codes) are defined “as a way to encourage attendee engagement, promote and support sponsors and vendors, and be part of an event’s gamification.” Near Field Communication (NFC) is defined as “alerts that are automatically generated and appear on mobile devices based on the proximity of a NFC reader and an enabled device, such as an attendees badge.” Radio frequency identification (RFID) is defined as using a “mobile devices electromagnetic spectrum to engage with other electromagnetic spectrums. RFID requires event attendees to be in close proximity to engage with RFID technology. RFID tags can be implemented into badges or other wearable technology and interact without the need of a mobile device.”

Chip cards are reaching ubiquity in the United States

  • New research from Square that asked 1,000 consumers to gauge sentiment and appetite toward chip cards and NFC payments reveals some key findings.” Those asked ranked security as the most important element of paying with both chip cards and mobile payments, with 77% believing security concerns as a reason not to use RFC. However, that feeling is not really grounded in reality. NFC mobile payments use “sophisticated layers of security like tokenization and cryptograms to lock down bank details like no other method.” Citing convenience, security, speed, and utility as a backup wallet, consumers appear to love NFC, despite any security concerns some may have.

Security concerns

NFC SecurityPeople who do use mobile payments love them.

  • MobileIron conducted research surrounding consumer sentiment when it comes to QR codes. “The September 2020 study revealed that QR codes are increasing in popularity and use. Sixty-four percent of consumers asserted that QR codes make life easier in a touchless world.” This finding, however, is at odds with the fact that many of those same people (51%) do not have (or simply do not know if they have) security software on their mobile device.
  • Other key findings from the MobileIron report include: “Eighty-four percent of people have scanned a QR code before, with thirty-two percent most recently having scanned a QR code” in the week before the research was published, and “twenty-six percent most recently having scanned a QR code in the past month.” Further, “thirty-eight percent of respondents have scanned a QR code at a restaurant, bar or café; thirty-seven percent of respondents have scanned a QR code at a retailer; and thirty-two percent have scanned a QR code on a consumer product”, in the time period spanning April 2020 until now. Looking into the future, “fifty-three percent of those asked want to see QR codes used more broadly moving forward, forty-three percent of respondents plan to use a QR code as a payment method in the near future, and forty percent of people would vote using a QR code received in the mail”, if the option was offered to them.
  • Paypal allows American users to make transactions by scanning a QR Code.” Target, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Dollar General, CVS, and Walmart are examples of retailers that have a QR Code payment system installed for their customers.

Consumer Sentiment: Mobile Payments

  • According to an August 2020 survey conducted by Money Crashers, more than half (52%) of those asked aren’t concerned about their personal data being exposed when using mobile payments. However, there is a smaller cohort of consumers (30%) that have decided not to download a payment app due to security concerns.
  • For those consumers who say that they rely on their mobile devices to make their shopping experiences easier, the possibility of mobile proximity payments is a welcome eventuality. It is predicted that by 2022, “the number of proximity mobile payment transaction users in the United States will hit 74.9 million users.
  • While there are many consumers in the United States that are already familiar with mobile payments, sentiment towards the use of it vary widely. According to this source which references a survey done in February 2018, twenty-six percent of Samsung Pay users revealed that they strongly agreed with the possibility that mobile wallets could replace physical wallets in the near future. Juxtapose that with Apple Pay users, and only ten percent felt that way.
  • “Although 59% of American respondents to this Transaction Network Services survey reported that they prefer the convenience of mobile payment apps, only 12% of consumers trust alternative payment providers to protect their payments, according to a separate survey done by the American Bankers Association.” According to Michael Bruemmer, Experian’s vice president of consumer protection, those worries are exaggerated. “The technology gets better and better every day. It’s not the technology that’s the problem, it’s the people that are not using the technology properly.”
  • Still with the same study from Transaction Network Services (TNS) the generational cohort that has embraced mobile payment apps are Millennial Americans, with 82% of 25-34 year-olds saying they were likely to use them.
  • “According to research released on August 6, 2020 by the National Retail Federation and Forrester, the use of mobile payments has drastically risen in the past few months due to concerns consumers have about touching surfaces because of COVID-19.”
  • “The State of Retail Payments study reveals that 56% of retailers accept digital wallet payments on mobile phones, which is up from 44% last year.” Among American consumers, 19% reported that they made an in-store digital payment for the first time this May. “Of those, 62% used their phone, according to a Forrester Consumer Technographics survey.”
  • When contrasting the different ways American consumers make payments, mobile payments are used by fifty-six percent of adults (143 million) at least once in a 12-month period. This means that it ranks behind payments made via credit cards (70%), debit cards (61%), and cash (78%), but ahead of checks and money orders (37%) and via prepaid cards (12%).

56 percent (roughly 143 million adults)made at least one mobile payment in the past year.

How Mobile is Shaping the Future of Brick and Mortar Retail

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Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at Simple Manifestation with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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