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Apr 5, 20221 min read

Mobile is upending how people shop. 3 ways retailers can succeed.

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by Klarna

It is rare for people not to have their phones within arm’s reach these days. And more than ever, shopping has become one of the mobile activities. So, to better understand how people are using their mobile devices and how they want to in the near future, Klarna surveyed 13,000 people across 13 countries.

The results provide a roadmap for success for retailers. Looking at how mobile is used now, opportunities abound for smart retailers to acquire and connect with shoppers, create better shopping and purchasing experiences, and stay in touch afterward, building long-term relationships. We’ve pulled out 3 takeaways retailers should know and have some advice for how to capitalize on these mobile behaviors.

Mobile shopping (m-shopping) is on the rise, primarily driven by younger audiences.

68% of US consumers say they are shopping more often now with their mobile phones than just two years ago, with 8 in 10 m-shopping within the last 12 months. This is particularly true among younger generations, with 79% of Gen Z and 77% of Millennials m-shopping more often than two years ago.

What retailers can do:

When building out your e-commerce strategy, mobile can’t be an add-on or afterthought; it has to be carefully designed and considered. Seemingly simple things like does your site scale down to be correctly displayed on mobile devices can’t be taken for granted. Every part of the mobile experience matters, and shoppers today are building lifetime habits (and expectations) around mobile shopping.

Just as the best camera is the closest one, most often, the best shopping device is whatever is closest to a person’s hands. And considering young people are rarely ever far from their phones, retailers need to connect with shoppers where they are and want to be.

Consumers are more likely to prefer shopping on mobile phones vs. computers.

46% of US shoppers prefer mobile, in contrast to the 41% who like to shop via desktop computer.

What retailers can do:

Brands need to think about new ways of reaching their customers and what kind of marketing and ad placements are more effective. Ads on social media are table-stakes; smart retailers consider the other apps and places where people go on their phones and evaluate affiliate partnerships to help them get their brand in front of the shoppers they most want to reach. Diversifying your ad spend and placements help keep your brand top-of-mind for shoppers and can be the difference between browsing and actual purchases. Consider also the role influencers and livestreaming have in bringing your brand to new people and showing your products off in the best way. While follower counts are important, engaged communities are the real goal and typically lead to more sales and impact from such partnerships.

Mobile devices are an essential resource for in-store shoppers.

The majority (68%) of US shoppers use their mobile devices to research products while shopping in physical stores. Consumers are most likely to research products via their phones in-store when shopping for Electronics (85%), followed by Entertainment (79%), and Clothing & Shoes (78%).

What retailers can do:

In-store shoppers are actively using their phones because it enhances their experience, giving them a chance to understand products and pricing better. Make sure your in-store associates are trained and well-versed in your products and can help guide shoppers to the right solutions. Ensure you’re staying abreast of what competitors are doing and know where your prices and products stack up against the market. Make your in-store experience even more mobile-friendly, such as scannable products and QR codes that take people to reviews, or attractive in-store displays that encourage people to share on social media. And outside of the store, utilize technology offerings like virtual shopping to bring the in-store experience to a person wherever they are, enabling m-shoppers to shop in whatever way is most convenient.


Mobile shopping has leaped forward in the past few years, both in adoption and technology, and it will continue. Making your in-store experience more mobile-friendly pays off at the register. Your online experience should mimic the best parts of in-store while capitalizing on the advantages online shopping offers. Keep your brand top-of-mind by crafting a mobile strategy reaching your shoppers where they are, giving them what they want, and providing ways for you to stay in touch and alert them to new offers, products, sales, and more. For more insights, make sure to read the whole study here.

Mobile is here to stay; make the most of it.

See how Klarna can improve your mobile shopping strategy.

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