I'm trying to understand why users don't purchase products on mobile websites, but rather surf on the mobile web then drop off and only purchase on a desktop website.

I know that I need to speak to people to understand the "why" but I'm looking to do desk research before talking to people.

Could you direct me to research/reports on user behaviour on mobile websites? mobile optimisation etc?

2 Answers 2


Two things that I would consider in researching this:

Perceived Security of Mobile Browsing

Research suggests that users view their mobile devices as less secure than their desktop. This could lead to them not wanting to input private data like credit card info into a mobile browser/app checkout.

Link to PowerPoint on Perceptions of Risk in Mobile Transactions

Research Questions

  1. Does the location have an effect on perceived information safety?
  2. What risks do come to people’s minds, when performing sensitive transactions on a mobile device?
  3. What information do people use to decide whether it is safe?
  4. What factors influence the decision to perform a sensitive transaction on a mobile device?

User Experience of Mobile Checkout

Checkout is a complex process that usually has lots of steps and typing; both of which can be cumbersome for a mobile user. Something simple for a desktop user, like typing an address, may not be so simple for a mobile user.

Link to an article from Nielsen Norman Group about mobile checkout optimization.

Summary: Optimize the checkout experience on mobile ecommerce channels by taking into account the strengths and limitations of mobile devices. Aim to minimize the number of steps and typing, and take advantage of capabilities such as geolocation and the camera.


It is 2019, Mobile Commerce (M-commerce) is growing!

The Future of Mobile Commerce Is Already Here. Shopify

Surveys, studies, and numbers are showing that more and more people are shopping on their mobile devices and the numbers are expected to only keep growing.

I suggest researching what have changed to achieve this growth and what have been done to overcome the challenges and concerns of M-commerce. (Please check links provided).

Here are some recent numbers:


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Yes there are/were challenges. Some examples:

1-Security issues are still concerning:

However, there is an increased trust in online shopping in general as we live in a digital world, plus an increase in security measures and standards by companies. Security concerns are not stopping the growth of M-commerce.

Moreover, it is interesting to see recommendations to buy on Mobile apps rather than a Desktop website CactusVPN:

Try Buying on Mobile Instead of Desktop. Why? Because reputable retailers have their own dedicated apps, which are much harder to exploit than websites. Basically, cybercriminals need to use specific attacks to compromise an app, while they can usually compromise websites with the same tactics

2- No Mobile app:

Many ecommerce websites used to just depend on the desktop website being responsive to mobile instead of designing special mobile apps. This has been overcome with mobile apps that provide great UX (amazon, facebook shopping, ...).

3- Mobile small screen sizes made shopping harder:

Mobile screens are getting bigger and bigger and UX designs are providing great experiences on those screens.

4- Speed (3G, 4G...) as people tend to shop on the go:

5G is coming/arrived (in some places) and WIFI spots are increasing. People are connected most of the time...

5- Check-out and paying issues:

Ease of pay (one-page checkout) an providing options like Apple pay, Android pay, Amazon pay along with the fingerprint login and confirm made it all much easier...

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