By 2019, annual shopping via mobile will be worth as much as the amount spent in more than 30,000 UK shops, according to research from e-commerce partner Webloyalty. If you were to imagine this as the equivalent of a shopping mall, this would equate to 38 Westfield Stratford City centres.
The m-commerce sector in the UK is currently worth £9.7bn, and is expected to grow to a staggering £53.6bn by 2024. Spend on smartphones alone is expected to increase by 243.5% in the next four years, with direct spend on both phones and tablets to increase by over 230%.
The ability to shop anywhere, on any device, has revolutionised how we shop in the UK. One in three of us shop via mobile in the office, with 2.8% even shopping during meetings at work. One in 10 Brits will also use their phone or tablet multiple times during the day to browse, purchase or review items. 14% of passengers also shop this way on their daily commute, and nearly one in ten of us (8.2%) even shop via our mobile devices in the bathroom.
The television has become a staple in triggering mobile sales for UK consumers. Not only do the majority of mobile shoppers (59.6%) spend while watching the TV, it is also the biggest motivator for encouraging a spontaneous mobile purchase, with TV adverts alone accounting for 16.7% of spontaneous spends.
Guy Chiswick, MD of Webloyalty Northern Europe, said: “The influential spend as a result of customers browsing on mobile is staggering. Our research found that 41.3% of consumers will buy a product on another device after viewing it on mobile, and a further 11% of shoppers will purchase an item in-store, resulting in £18 million in additional sales for UK retailers. The key message here is for retailers to make the most of mobile – a strong social media presence, targeted personalised emails and the offer of digital wallet payments will aid in the pursuit of mobile sales conversions.”
Historically, groceries and clothing have dominated mobile spending, but consumers are now buying a much wider range of products using these channels. Sectors such as homeware are set to benefit the most, with a predicted sales increase of 300% over the next four years. The clothing and electronics sectors are also set to profit from increased mobile sales.
Chiswick added: “Consumers are building trust in mobile and technology is making it easier for them to buy, and this is set to continue. Retailers in all sectors need to be conscious that more and more consumers will be shopping via a mobile route, whether that’s via an app or the website itself. Ensuring that these channels are optimised is essential for success in the coming years.”