38% of travellers will abandon ship due to poor mobile experience

Identity management firm Jumio has released its Mobile Consumer Insights study, which shows just how vital it is that travel firms get mobile right.

The report shows that the travel industry, among others, has much to lose if the mobile experience offered doesn't match up to consumers' demands. In this sector, as much as 38% of consumers will simply abandon a transaction if that experience fails to live up to expectations.

In fact, the total cost to businesses of purchase and account opening abandonment could reach a staggering £6 billion, says Jumio.

Conducted by Harris Interactive, the study looks at user behaviour and transactions on mobile – particularly mobile purchase abandonment – and follows up Jumio's 2013 report on the subject.

Users in the UK appear particularly impatient when it comes to mobile experience. The report shows that more than half of British smartphone owners (55%) have abandoned a mobile transaction, against a global abandonment figure of two-thirds in 2013.

Overall, usability problems topped the list of reasons why consumers lost interest (68%). These include slow loading times (32%), over-complicated payment process (27%) and difficulty navigating the checkout process (26%).

Security worries continue to be an issue for mobile device users – even though consumers are relying on mobile more than ever – although relatively few shoppers (16%) gave up a transaction over payment security.

Meanwhile, just 21% of all abandonments were the result of customer uncertainty about the purchase.

While the majority of those who responded to the survey abandoned transactions, opening an account was equally frustrating. A quarter of those trying to open financial services accounts abandoned their efforts to do so.

What's more, almost a third (32%) of those who abandon a transaction do not make a second attempt, the report found.

"As mobile transactions continue to skyrocket, so do abandoned purchases, incomplete account openings, and lost revenue," said Marc Barach, chief marketing officer at Jumio.

"Businesses have heeded the warning and are finally prioritising mobile checkout experiences, underscored by the 10% improvement in abandonment rates over the last two years," he continued.

"But experiences are still far from being as seamless as they need to be in order for retailers to stem the tide of lost opportunity and put a potential £6 billion back in their pockets," Barach added.

In the list of abandonment rates by industry, travel came third behind fashion (53%) and food (groceries or takeaway) at 39%.

Interestingly, retailers of low cost items were most at risk from losing sales. The report showed that the lower the cost of a transaction, the more likely it is that the shopper will abandon it.

Businesses must ensure ease of use and security in order to encourage users to complete their transaction, said Barach.