MasterCard announces pan-European index of mobile shopping apps

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Waterloo, February 26, 2015 – Today, MasterCard announced the “Mobile Top App Index”, a unique European Index of mobile shopping apps. The index not only showcasestop_logo_final23 the best mobile shopping apps from across 36 European countries, it also reveals the various ways in which people embrace mobile technology when shopping on the go. Recognizing the best shopping apps in 19 retail categories and identifying major trends in the industry, the cross-sector survey sheds light on the changing habits of shoppers and app developers, and their interaction with retailers. The results of the index show that the best shopping apps came from two major markets in Europe, the UK and Germany. Of the 19 best shopping apps, 5 came from the UK, 5 from Germany, and 2 were from Turkey. The UK and Germany are not only outstanding in terms of the quality of their apps, but also in their quantity, both having more than 70 shopping apps available. The average number of shopping apps in Europe, per country, was 30.

Top Apps by MasterCard 2015

Top App index

Javier Perez, President MasterCard Europe said, “The way people spend around the world is changing fast and here in Europe we want to recognize the great work being done by both traditional and new retailers who are leveraging technology to make people’s lives easier. The MasterCard Top App Index celebrates the innovation and diversity here in Europe while showcasing how many countries are leading the way in create safe and simple shopping experiences you can enjoy wherever you are”.

MOBILE AS A SHOP WINDOW

Dr Carsten Sørensen, Associate Professor (Reader) in Digital Innovation at the London School of Economics and Political Science, identified more trends. “We have seen that merchants have already realized that being present on mobile is important, and that for a significant number of applications the screens of mobile devices are often regarded simply as another shop window. Some apps were successfully able to keep the shopping process simple while also giving just enough information about the product or service to make the shopping experience fit easily to the mobile lifestyle.”  Jen Copestake, BBC Click, added:  “Innovation has to happen for retailers to expand their businesses and move forward  so  everyone can use their apps online. The quality of the user experience of so many apps was really impressive and I’m wondering where the developers will take the apps in the future and how they will differentiate between their competitors.” MasterCard’s Index also showed how European retailers and app developers are currently most interested in seven retail categories, and that those produce around 65% of the apps: Meal Delivery, Taxi, Public transport ticketing (railway, mass transit, bus, etc.), Publishing (books, magazines etc.), Accommodation, Parking ticketing, and Entertainment (cinema, theatre, festivals, sports events etc.)

PAYMENT LANDSCAPE

Paymenchart top app indext cards are by far the most popular payment method for app owners/developers, with 52% of all shopping apps offering this type of payment. Cash on delivery is still significant, and available in 36% of all shopping apps. Online wallets, however, are quickly gaining momentum and are now found in 24% of the best apps. From those shortlisted from the total base, online card payment and online wallets represent a significantly higher proportion – 82% and 39% respectively.

SOCIAL MEDIA: A SIGN OF THE TIMES?

Recent years have seen an incredible increase in the so-called “social sign-in” on websites. Social sign-in, or login, simply means that users entering a site can easily sign-in to third-party services with their social media accounts and that there is no need to fill out a form repeatedly with personal details. As a result of this growing trend, the majority of applications were expected to offer social sign-ins. However, it was surprising to see that in fact the results were quite the opposite. Of the 1,000+ tested applications, a mere 7.5% of them offered social sign-in in parallel with standalone registration. However, in the final group of shortlisted applications, this number doubled (still an unexpectedly low figure). A little more than 1/5 of those apps offer sign-in with social media accounts.

BUCKING THE TREND?

In addition to the best-ranked apps, a few others stood out from the competition. These range from exceptional ideas put into practice – e.g. making it possible to pre-order snacks at events, identify and purchase clothing items seen on TV actors, or to pay for an electronic car recharge on the go. Thus for those who always wanted to order natural gas, numerous bottles of water, or even to book a religious service and pay for it via payment card, the mobile shopping world has made such things possible.

About the MasterCard Top App Index The process to evaluate the apps was as follows:

  1. Review: a group of experts commissioned by MasterCard collect all available mobile shopping applications in 36 European countries (Albania; Austria; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; The Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Latvia; Lithuania; Macedonia; Montenegro; The Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russia; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Switzerland; Sweden; Turkey; UK; Ukraine).

The team downloads and test all collected apps using a pre-designed questionnaire. As a result of this process, 57 apps (three per category) are shortlisted

  1. Evaluation: The jury (Dr Carsten Sørensen, Associate Professor (Reader) in Digital Innovation at the London School of Economics and Political Science; Jen Copestake, BBC Click and Steve Wood, Mobile Payments Lead Europe at MasterCard) evaluated all the shortlisted applications in order to select the Category Top App in all 19 categories. The selection was based on three criteria:
  • Technical aspect of the applications – smart solution quality (platform variety, programming quality, API usage, performance, stability, etc.)
  • Usability/design aspect – customer digital convenience (ease of use, patterns, flow, interface, graphic details, artistic level, etc.)
  • Business/functionality aspect – payment innovation impact (purchase method variety, relevance, market penetration, localization etc.)

The list of categories

Multi-retailers, Personal Services, Taxi, Accommodation, Electronics and Multimedia, Gifts and Surprises, Flight Tickets, Meal Delivery, Various, Transport, Holidays, Parking, Publishing, Online Auctions and Classifieds, Entertainment Tickets, Cars and Motorcycles, Cosmetics, Groceries, Clothing and Fashion. You will find a complete list of MasterCard’s news announcements from Mobile World Congress in our Digital Press Kit. Follow us @MasterCardEU #WhatsNext to join the conversation.

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

For further information, contact:

Corinne Raes, corinne_raes@mastercard.com, +32 498 58 5237

Bénédicte Stievenart, benedicte_stievenart@mastercard.com, +32 498 58 5019