In app payments have earned a bad rap with some customers. Parents who have inadvertently incurred huge in app purchase bills on iOS devices used by their children will know what we mean.

Many in app purchases occur in games, where users are able to purchase virtual goods for the game through the app itself. They are also used to buy music and videos. But essentially in app purchases are the ability to buy any additional features, functionality and content within an i-phone app.

The digital magazine Relate reported that just over 5% of app users were spending money on in app purchases in July of last year, according to a study of more than 100 million device owners across 1,000+ apps.

Yet by 2017, Relate was predicting, the total of global sales from in app purchases would amount to nearly $37 billion, compared with $29 billion from paid app downloads; (in app purchases are normally made on freely downloaded apps).

Now for an even more surprising prediction – nearly half of a sample of UK customers (2,000 adults) believe that all payments will be made in app by 2022, according to software developer Ubamarket.

Not surprisingly Ubamarket is the developer of a shopping app – to be used in the app.

But that prediction does not mean the death of brick and mortar stores – it could in fact mean their salvation, Ubamarket suggests.

Their app is for use in-store, and according to their website the prototype store is Warner’s Budgens in Moreton in Marsh, in the heart of England’s beautiful Cotswolds. They are planning to roll it out across the UK.

Ubamarket’s CEO and founder Will Broome explains that he came up with the idea for the app some five years ago in an aisle of his local store after failing to find an elusive item on his shopping list, and after walking from aisle to aisle for the others as their order on the list bore no resemblance to their order in store.

“The journey made an expedition across Middle earth seem less complicated,” he comments.

He thought to himself: “Wouldn’t it be cool if you walked in and your list was magically in the right order?” and the idea for Ubamarket was born.

“Over the ensuing four years, I have developed the idea and consulted some of the finest technicians, designers, project managers, coders, developers, supermarket owners, back end system technicians, POS specialists (and some of the worst too of course) and have arrived at the beginning of another journey. The journey to the retail revolution.”

Ubamarket is patent pending and the journey to that revolution has some way to go, but retail Risk News will attempt to follow its progress.

Meanwhile, here are some findings Ubamarket sent us from a survey of 2,004 UK adults,

  • 20% of UK adults say in-app payments are their favourite method of paying for items
    • This rises to 34% among 18-34 year olds
  • Over 10 million people (20%) will consciously avoid shops, restaurants, newsagents, cafés or bars that only accept cash
  • 73% of UK consumers – 37.5 million people – have changed their mind and decided not to buy something having seen the size of a queue in a shop
    • 53% of shoppers find queues the most frustrating thing about the retail experience
  • 32% of people pick an online or high-street retailer based on how easy it is to pay for items
  • Nearly half (48%, or 24.6 million people) hate using self-scan machines
  • 21.1 million people (41%) believe all payments will be done via mobile devices in the future
    • The figures jumps to 53% among millennials

The survey of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by Ubamarket revealed that 73% of shoppers across the nation – the equivalent of 37.5 million people – have changed their mind and decided not to buy something after seeing the size of a shop’s queue.  The nationally representative study by the retail app also revealed that ease of payment has become a make-or-break factor for retailers seeking to gain and maintain shoppers.

The nation’s frustration towards outdated in-store payments also extends to self-scan machines, with 48% of UK shoppers frustrated by the current iteration of self-payment infrastructure in Britain’s retail outlets.
In app payment is found to be a timely solution; 41% of us – the equivalent of 21.1million people – expect that all payments will be processed via mobile devices in the future. According to the research, in app payment is already the preferred method for one fifth of all shoppers, rising to over a third of millennials.

Will Broome, CEO of Ubamarket, commented on the findings: “Over the past decade, major retailers have taken some strides to improve in-store shopping by embracing new technologies. However, today’s research reveals that long queues and frustratingly out-dated payment systems remain a significant challenge that are ruining millions of shopping trips and therefore must be addressed. Despite the rise of online shopping, it is clear that retailers need to invest in the in-store shopping experience to maintain shoppers’ loyalty in today’s competitive market.”