Comfort and convenience are driving Australian consumers towards mobile shopping, according to new research from Emarsys, with more than half (55%) of consumers changing how they shop over the last 12 months and that mobile use is a part of that.

Among the 25 to 34-year-old demographic, 58% indicated they would like bricks and mortar stores to feel as convenient as apps.

Two-fifths of the consumers surveyed claim that apps have easier payment methods, such as Apple Pay, while over one-third say apps allow them to access exclusive deals and one-fifth of consumers believe mobile apps and subscriptions provide comfort and understand their tastes and needs.

Emotional factors are also important, with 30% of consumers revealing that mobile apps prompt happy emotions and improve their mood. Two out of five consumers noted that mobile apps make shopping more relaxing. This figure rises to 40% among female consumers.

Commenting on these findings, Emarsys managing director for Asia Pacific, Adam Ioakim said apps have become essential to daily life.

“The convenience of being able to shop from the palm of your hand amid a global pandemic has driven consumer appetite towards mobile shopping over the past year,” he said.

Mobile app subscriptions have proven particularly popular during the pandemic with over one third of Australian consumers surveyed paying to subscribe to a new app, such as Netflix or Runtastic during lockdown.

Significant age factors determine subscription sign ups. Almost one third (30%) of 16–24-year-olds are currently signed up to a monthly subscription, compared to just 9% of those aged 55 plus. Food and recipes subscriptions (25%) are the most popular, followed by beauty and grooming (15%), fashion (11%) and toys and games (10%).

The most common factor contributing to the cancellation of subscription apps is the perceived lack of value for money (47%). This is followed by free trials running out (20%) and because the offering wasn’t personalised enough (18%). Surprisingly, the average lifetime of a subscription service for Australian consumers surveyed is just five months.

“Consumers are fickle creatures. They will not hesitate to drop a brand that does not meet their needs for personalisation. Above all, marketers must ensure that the mobile app delivers a return on investment. This means ensuring the app makes the user’s life easier, such as helping reduce the time required for meal preparation or helping select an outfit for example,” Ioakim said.

The top mobile innovation consumers want to see is augmented reality features to try on products (40%), closely followed by in-app quizzes to ensure products are tailored (28%), the ability to instantly track down products worn by influencers/celebrities online, as well as automated stylists that recommend products based on previous purchases (26%).