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 the transatlantic friends is a shared love of shopping, as the PYMNTS 2022 Global Digital Shopping Index reveals.
The report was compiled from data collected from 13,114 consumers and 3,100 merchants and calculates an index score that reflects the friction associated with consumers’ buying experiences based on the features they rated as critical to customer satisfaction. A higher score indicates that consumers experience less friction when shopping.
Read the report: The global digital shopping index of 2022
So, how do the two countries relate to each other?
US ranks higher across the board, but both countries improved year over year
When calculating the scores for each country, PYMNTS took into account four categories: online-native, mobile-native, smartphone-assisted physical, and physical.
On average, across all categories, US merchants delivered more frictionless experiences to customers than their UK counterparts. The difference is greatest when looking at online native commerce, where the UK scores 26% lower than the US overall. The two countries come closest when it comes to physical shopping with smartphone support, with the UK scoring just 6.7 points lower than the US, a 4% difference.
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 key conclusions from the Global Shopping Report 2022 relate to the mobile transformation in consumer preferences. Whether purely mobile shopping or in-store shopping with smartphone support, data indicates that mobile shopping is on the rise in all countries surveyed.
When it comes to using smartphones when shopping in-store, 39% of US consumers and 35% of UK consumers say they do, the two lowest percentages 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 experience their mobile experiences.
In-store shoppers in the US are most likely to use their smartphones to find deals and discounts, while their UK counterparts are most likely to use them to build loyalty credit.
How frictionless UK and US customers experience their hybrid shopping trips also varies widely.
US consumers who used their smartphones during their most recent in-store shopping experiences experienced the most frictionless, mobile-enabled in-store shopping experience of any country, with US merchants achieving an average index score of 115.
Meanwhile, UK retailers with customers using smartphones while shopping in stores posted lower consumer index scores than those elsewhere. In addition, the UK and Australia were the only countries in the study to see a year-over-year decline in this statistic.
Both countries are equal in terms of payment methods offered, but Brits 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 “usage gap” between what consumers want and what retailers offer, but the usage gap in the US is wider than that in the UK.
To put it another way, although merchants in both countries offer a similar variety of payment methods, 76% of shoppers in the US reported that the last merchant they shopped with accepted their preferred payment method, while in the UK this figure is only 69%. .
This data suggests that US consumers are more likely to shop from merchants offering their preferred methods, while UK shoppers are less likely to consider them.
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