Mobile Shopper Mindset: How to Help Anxious Shoppers

Oct 11, 2023 11:00:00 AM
11 min read

Person running with a cup of coffee and a laptop. The laptop's charger is still attached, and trailing behind.In a world that never hits the pause button, our phones have made mobile shopping an integral part of our daily routine. With the convenience of browsing and purchasing products from the palm of our hand, it's no surprise that mobile commerce has witnessed a sharp upturn in recent years. In fact, studies show that by 2024, there will be over 187 million active mobile shoppers in the United States alone. However, with this comes a not-so-pleasant companion: mobile shopping anxiety.

Mobile shoppers can experience anxiety for various reasons, many of which are similar to the concerns of online shoppers in general. However, as more shopping shifts from desktop to mobile, retailers who fail to understand what drives a mobile shopper’s concerns and adopt new conversion strategies, are bound to be left behind.

In this blog, we'll explore the various factors that cause anxiety among mobile shoppers and discuss how e-commerce businesses can alleviate these worries to create a smoother, more enjoyable, and higher-converting shopping experience.

Our Deep Dive Analysis 

Shopper looking at an overwhelming amount of listings. The text reads "1 in 10 shoppers are anxious."

Granify recently conducted research to discover some of the differences between mobile and desktop shoppers and uncover the causes and, more crucially, tangible solutions. In our study, we grouped 2.48 million online shoppers into 11 primary personas based on their common behavioral traits. We then analyzed each persona for notable differences between mobile and desktop. 

Chart showing 60% full. The text reads "Anxious shoppers have a 60% lower conversion rate."

Results showed that one very low converting persona is 4.5 times as prevalent on mobile vs. desktop: the Anxious Shopper. On average, this shopper makes up 9% of traffic on mobile devices and converts 60% less than other shoppers.

Common Traits of Anxious Shoppers

Faster Page-view Rate Shopper entering a store. the text reads "Anxious shoppers fly through your site's pages 30% faster than average."

Anxious Shoppers are navigating through your site 30% faster than the average shopper. This could cause challenges as they are more likely to make the wrong product choice or not find the item they’re searching for altogether.

Less Time Analyzing

Half circle showing how anxious shoppers spend less time analyzing. The text reads "anxious shoppers spend just 39 seconds analyzing the details of a product. In contrast, the average shopper will evaluate a product for 237 seconds."

An inordinately low time is spent analyzing the details of products compared to the rest of the shopping population. This may lead to shoppers not being happy with their purchases by overlooking pertinent details.

Longer Shopping Sessions 

Two lines showing the session difference between an anxious shopper and a regular shopper. The text reads "the anxious shopper's session lasts 40% longer than average."

Interestingly, an anxious shopper’s average shopping session is 40% greater than the rest of the shopping population, indicating less efficient, more distracted shopping behavior.

Understanding the Sources of Mobile Shopping Anxiety

The mobile shopping experience presents some distinct factors that can contribute to anxiety. Some primary causes include:

  • Security Concerns – Concerns about the security of personal and financial information are amplified on mobile devices and the e-commerce apps and platforms they shop on
  • Technical Issues – Slow-loading websites, unresponsive buttons, and other site glitches create a frustrating and anxiety-inducing shopping experience. 
  • Information Overload – Having to navigate an extensive range of products and options (over a tiny screen) can make the mobile shopping process overwhelming.
  • Social Pressure – Some individuals feel pressure to keep up with trends or make purchases due to peer influences, leading to worry about fitting in with the masses.
  • Financial Hardship – Anxious shopping can create or exacerbate financial strain, which in turn can lead to more anxiety, perpetuating a cycle of compulsive buying.
  • Distractions – Mobile devices are commonly used in environments where frequent disruptions like messages, notifications, or incoming calls can interrupt the shopping journey and trigger tension.
  • Emotional Distress – Some people use shopping as a way to temporarily escape their feelings, which usually provides temporary satisfaction,  followed by the additional burden of making unnecessary purchases.
  • FOMO – The fear of missing out on a great deal can lead to nervous shopping habits, especially if the item they want ends up being out of stock.
  • Insecurity – Apprehensive shoppers may be concerned about falling victim to fraudulent websites or sellers, particularly first-time buyers or those dealing with unfamiliar online stores.
  • Product Quality: Online shoppers can’t physically examine the products they’re interested in. This could cause anxiety about receiving something that doesn't meet their expectations.

Conversion Prognosis

Illustration of a magnifying glass. After isolating the Anxious Shopper group for closer study, Granify ran a series of experiments. We discovered that anxious shoppers are quick to convert in instances where their motivations and objections are addressed correctly—just 1,242 seconds (or roughly, 20 minutes).

 However, the window to address these shoppers before cart abandonment is incredibly narrow—just 350 seconds (less than six minutes). Those who do convert, do so quickly: only 122 seconds from adding an item to their cart to checking out. This is almost 3X as fast as non-anxious shoppers.

Large "3x" with the accompanying text "Anxious shoppers who complete a purchase do it in just 122 seconds - that's three times faster than their non-anxious counterparts!"Using machine learning to identify when these objections occur, we discovered that the Anxious Shopper’s conversion issues are driven by their mindset. Completing a task (in this case a purchase) goes a long way towards easing mental stress and providing comfort. To shift this group into a more relaxed state and help them complete their purchase, retailers must reintroduce stability and reassurance to the shopping experience.

Graph labelled 'Value Lost From Time Decay." The chart shows that as time goes on since the shoppers visits, the RPS decreases.

Any purchase carries inherent risk, which amplifies anxiety. Because of this (and many other reasons), it’s crucial to address these shoppers while they are still on your site, as the value of retargeting them after they’ve left your site drops by 85% on the first day of retargeting, with almost zero value after 12 days. This leads to abandoned carts full of unpurchased products. Graphic that reads "Identifying anxious shoppers in real-time and presenting them with messaging that reduces perceived risks can increase conversions by 21%."Identifying anxious shoppers in real-time and presenting them with messaging that reduces perceived risks associated with making a purchase will reassure them and mitigate concerns. Though the exact messaging will vary, the addition of stability through risk reduction will then allow them to focus on completing their purchases. The result: A  conversion rate lift of 21%!

Strategies for Easing Mobile Shopping Anxiety

Dealing with anxious mobile shoppers is essential for looking to build trust and boost conversions. Here are some strategies to help address these concerns and create a positive shopping experience for them:

Mobile Optimization

Floating illustration of a smartphone. A banner on the screen reads: 'App' and in smaller text 'Notification.'Mobile apps and websites that aren’t optimized for mobile use are annoying for everyone. But problems like sluggish page load times, complicated navigation, and hard-to-read text from small screen sizes can create an even more anxiety-induced shopping experience for already anxious shoppers. Alleviate this problem by ensuring your website is fully responsive across various mobile devices. Some key tactics include: 

  • Creating an intuitive and user-friendly interface with easy navigation, legible fonts, and appropriately sized buttons
  • Compressing images, reducing unnecessary scripts, and leveraging browser caching for speediness
  • Implement caching and content delivery networks (CDNs) to improve performance
  • Featuring clean mobile-friendly product pages with clear descriptions, images, and videos that are easy to view and interact with on smaller screens
  • Ensuring mobile pages are categorized correctly for mobile search results


Mobile shopper being served a pop-up. Behind the shopper, is a graph showing an upward revenue trend, suggesting the pop-up is increasing revenue. Online stores offer a lot of options. This can make it challenging for anxious shoppers to make a decision. Personalization can help reduce anxiety by showing customers products that match their tastes and needs.

Our suggestion? Use AI and real-time data analytics to tailor the mobile shopping experience based on each shopper’s unique preferences. This can include everything from customized landing pages to personalized product recommendations to exclusive discounts and promotions to incentivize mobile purchases.

Transparent Communication

One of the worst things a mobile site can do is provide visitors with a lack of information (or no information at all). This can include everything from surprise fees that weren’t initially disclosed to ending up with an item that doesn’t match their expectations. To alleviate these anxieties, there are a few important approaches to take:  

  • Including explicit product details like materials, sizing, usage, and other specifications
  • Clearly showcasing product prices, including any additional costs like taxes or shipping fees
  • Providing information on product availability and delivery options
  • Highlighting discounts and promotions, plus any related terms and conditions
  • Featuring frequently asked questions prominently, ideally on each Product Page
  • Having a transparent and fair return and refund policy clearly visible

Mobile-Friendly Checkout

Person with Shopping Bag and PhoneThe checkout process is a pivotal moment where many anxious shoppers abandon their purchases. This is often caused by a range of issues, such as complicated checkout forms, unexpected shipping costs, and the added peril of entering payment information on a mobile device. To alleviate these concerns, follow these three tips:

  1. Begin by simplifying the mobile checkout process with features like auto-fill for shipping and payment information, as well as the option for guest checkout.
  2. Next, make sure to offer a variety of secure and mobile-friendly payment options, including mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay. You’ll also want to keep them informed about any additional security measures, such as two-factor authentication.
  3. Finally, communicate estimated delivery times and shipping options upfront, including pricing. And always provide regular updates and order tracking so customers can monitor the status of their shipments.

Trust Signals

Floating illustration of a lock.Security breaches and data theft are top concerns for any mobile shopper. For those with anxiety, the fear of personal and financial information falling into the wrong hands can deter them from making any type of online purchase. To win these shoppers over, building trust is key. Instill confidence in this group by:

  • Educating them about the security measures you’ve taken to protect their data and transactions
  • Displaying trust badges and security certifications prominently on your mobile site and/or app, including on your checkout page
  • Using SSL certificates to secure data transmission
  • Highlighting any relevant awards or recognition your e-commerce business has received
  • Communicating your privacy policy and adherence to data protection regulations
  • Displaying social proof like customer reviews and ratings (and responding to comments promptly and professionally)

Mobile Support

One of the easiest ways to amplify an anxious shopper’s stress level is by leaving them high and dry with unanswered questions or concerns. To avoid this, make sure to provide timely responses to any inquiries. The best way to achieve this is by offering multiple communication channels that customers can reach out to. This can (and should) include mobile-friendly customer support options, such as chatbots and live chat, which can provide immediate assistance.

Chatbots in particular are great at providing 24/7 support, helping put anxious minds at ease, no matter the time of day (or night). It also doesn’t hurt to provide a phone and/or email option—as long as you have the support staff ready and trained to respond in a timely manner, and response times are clearly communicated back to the shopper. And finally, as we previously mentioned, including an FAQ section on your mobile site or app is a low-cost, effective way to address common questions and concerns.

Continuous Improvement

Illustration of a potted plant. You can implement all of the strategies we’ve mentioned, but if you fail to do your homework regularly, chances are, you’re not going to succeed at converting this specific shopping group (or any group for that matter). Showing anxious shoppers you’ve got their backs is as simple as these three things:

1. Continuously testing your mobile site and app on various devices, including newly released phones, tablets, and browsers, to identify and address usability issues

2. Utilizing mobile analytics tools to track shopper behavior and identify areas for improvement

3. Collecting feedback from customers through surveys and reviews to make any necessary improvements

A Stress-Free Mobile Shopping Experience

Person smiling as though satisfied, with arms crossedAnxious Shoppers present both a complex challenge and a tangible opportunity for online retailers. To create a stress-free experience you’ll need to proactively address the sources of mobile shopping anxiety to build trust with this customer segment.

By addressing the emotional state of your shoppers, you’ll not only deliver an anxiety-free mobile shopping experience but also improve your conversion rate (and in turn, bottom line) b. And in the e-commerce race to perfect the mobile experience, every step taken is a major win for both you and your customers.

Granify: Your Ally in Easing Mobile Shopping Anxiety

Two hands clasping each other.Struggling to figure out what could be causing anxiety in your shoppers, and how to fix it? Granify analyzes shopper behavior to identify optimal times to increase conversion rates, reduce cart abandonment, and ultimately, delight even the most worrisome of customers.

Schedule your free consultation to find out more about how Granify can turn anxious mobile shoppers into satisfied, loyal customers.

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