The United States and Great Britain: joined by common shopping habits

As Americans celebrate 246 years of independence from British rule, the cultural, political and commercial ties between the two nations remain strong. One thing that continues to unite transatlantic friends is a shared love of shopping, as revealed by the PYMNTS 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index.

Compiled from data collected from 13,114 consumers and 3,100 merchants, the report calculates an index score representing the friction associated with consumers’ shopping experiences based on the characteristics they deem critical to customer satisfaction. A higher score indicates that consumers experience less friction while shopping.

Read the report: The Global Digital Purchasing Index 2022

So how do the two countries compare?

The United States scores higher in all areas, but both countries have improved year over year

When calculating the scores for each country, PYMNTS considered four categories: online native, mobile native, brick-and-mortar smartphone-assisted, and brick-and-mortar.

On average, across all categories, US merchants provided customers with smoother experiences than their UK counterparts. The difference is most striking when looking at native e-commerce, where the UK scores 26% lower than the US as a whole. The two countries are closest when it comes to smartphone-assisted physical shopping, where the UK scores just 6.7 points lower than the US, a difference of 4%.

Retailers in both countries improved their average index scores across all categories between 2020 and 2021.

How US and UK shoppers use their smartphones

Many of the most important takeaways from the Global Shopping Report 2022 relate to the transformation of mobile into consumer preferences. Whether looking at pure mobile commerce or smartphone-assisted in-store shopping, across all countries surveyed, the data suggests that mobile shopping is on the rise.

Related: 59% of UAE shoppers use smartphones to enhance their in-store experience

When it comes to using smartphones to facilitate in-store shopping, 39% of US consumers and 35% of UK consumers said they do, the two lowest rates of any country surveyed.

But the way US consumers use their mobile devices to shop differs significantly from UK consumers, as does the way shoppers perceive their mobile experiences.

In-store shoppers in the US are more likely to use their smartphones to find deals and discounts, while their UK counterparts are more likely to use them to build credit loyalty.

The way UK and US customers perceive their hybrid buying journeys to be seamless is also very different.

US consumers who last used their smartphone in-store had the smoothest mobile-assisted in-store shopping experience of any country, with US merchants scoring an average rating of 115.

Meanwhile, retailers in the UK whose customers used smartphones when shopping in stores recorded lower Consumer Index scores than elsewhere. Additionally, the UK and Australia were the only countries in the study to experience a year-over-year decrease in this metric.

The two countries are equal in terms of the payment methods offered, but the British are less satisfied with their options

When it comes to the types of payment methods available, the two countries are in the middle of the table in terms of the “usage gap” between what consumers want and what retailers offer, but the usage in the US is greater than that seen in the UK.

Read more: Debit cards are US consumers’ preferred payments

In other words, although merchants in both countries offer a similar variety of payment methods, in the United States, 76% of shoppers said the last merchant they purchased from accepted their payment method. favourite, while in the UK that figure was just 69%.

This data suggests that US consumers are more likely to shop from merchants who offer their preferred methods, while UK shoppers don’t care so much.

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About: More than half of utilities and consumer finance companies have the ability to digitally process all monthly bill payments. The kicker? Only 12% of them do. The Digital Payments Edge, a collaboration between PYMNTS and ACI Worldwide, surveyed 207 billing and collections professionals at these companies to find out why going digital remains elusive.

About Robert Moody

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