By Daniel Hunter

As retailers endeavour to adopt multichannel customer interaction strategies, new research into British consumer behaviour and attitudes towards mobile interactions reveals that 'trust' is the biggest barrier to the adoption of mobile retail and payment services. Only 30 per cent of British consumers trust major retailers to keep their personal information safe.

Sponsored by European customer interaction, payments and insights specialist, The Logic Group, the independent research was conducted by leading market researcher, Ipsos MORI among 1,010 GB consumers aged 16-75, during March 2013.

While a majority of British consumers have Internet access (85 per cent), browse websites for products they are considering to buy (63 per cent) and over half (58 per cent) will even purchase products/services online, consumer mindset towards mobile technology for retail and merchant services is distinctly cautious.

· Only one in three (33 per cent) consumers is happy to house their loyalty cards on their mobile phone, enabling them to collect and redeem points without cards;
· One in four (26 per cent) consumers are happy to receive loyalty offers, which are tailored to them and their family, based on their mobile location;
· Just over one in 10 (13 per cent) consumers are happy to house their credit/debit cards on their mobile phone, enabling them to pay for things without cards.

“Retailers and merchants are faced with a chicken and egg situation when it comes to implementing mobile services as part of their multichannel customer interaction strategy," Jon Worley, Director of Customer Interactions at The Logic Group said.

"Consumers are reluctant about the safety of their data and they also don’t want to be bombarded by untailored offers on their mobile. Retailers and merchants are keen to find the sweet spot for mobile customer interaction to boost their bottom line.”

The research has found that younger people tend to be more trusting, with 34 per cent of 25-34 year olds being comfortable sharing their data with companies compared to 26 per cent of those aged 55-75. Also, those in the DE socio-economic category are likely to be more trusting with their data (37 per cent) than average (30 per cent), as are those with children (35 per cent).

“Retailers and merchants should be looking to engage this segment of ‘trusters’ first and foremost. Mobile in the retail strategy mix should not just be about payments and transactions," Honey Kirtley, Head of Insight and Loyalty at The Logic Group commented.

"Retailers should look to incorporate mobile as a customer interaction tool — to drive traffic in-store and online, allow price comparisons and promote loyalty.

"By acting now to build up trust among consumers, retailers can grow the potential for mobile technology in their overall customer interaction strategy; and, as the number of ‘trusters’ grows and matures, continue to innovate to provide new and engaging ways to attract customers.”

Worley adds, “Every new technology has a slight level of resistance from consumers. When chip-and-PIN was first introduced in the UK, there was a slight apprehension from consumers as to its security. Now it is de facto in the retail payments system, moreover with NFC-enabled cards. The industry stakeholder ecosystem needs to align its efforts in educating and evidencing to the consumer the benefits, convenience and safety of using mobile technology.”

Simon Atkinson, Assistant Chief Executive at Ipsos MORI said: “The experience of QR codes is a reminder that it’s not just a matter of rolling out new technology when it’s ready and expecting consumers to get excited. If there isn’t a tangible benefit to them, they won’t be interested.”

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