Smartphones will influence £18bn of UK store sales in 2013, Deloitte research finds

Mobiles: influencing buying

Mobiles: influencing buying

Smartphones will influence £18bn of UK store sales this year, according to the latest research from business advisory firm, Deloitte. In contrast, consumers will make only £5bn of sales directly on mobile devices (including both smartphones and tablets); less than a third of the value generated by mobile influenced store sales. 

The research also found those consumers who use their smartphone before or during their shopping trip are not only more likely to make a purchase, but also to spend more money. People who use their mobile whilst shopping spend 61% more, compared to the average trip. In addition, those who consult their smartphone beforehand spend 14% more.

Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte, said: “The influence of mobile devices in the retail sector is rising at a rapid rate. Over 60% of UK adults aged 18 and over now own a smartphone and half of them use it to shop. Retailers need to recognise that mobile sites and apps are becoming their most important shop window.

“Those consumers using smartphones when shopping are also spending more money. The device is an effective tool for retailers to encourage customers to buy more products and upgrade to higher value items, at a time when profit margins remain under pressure.  In the next few years, the value of mobile is only going to increase. The message from consumers is clear; they want to use their smartphones to shop and expect retailers to enable them to do so.”

The sectors enjoying the greatest benefit from the influence of mobile include electricals and furniture, with smartphones influencing 12.9% and 10.1% of store sales, respectively. Healthcare stores and pharmacies (4.7%) and clothing and footwear (7.9%) are experiencing relatively low influence, but are expected to increase quickly.

Ben Perkins, UK head of consumer business research at Deloitte, said: “Even those categories that do not lend themselves to direct sales via mobile must recognise that customers will be consulting their smartphone to research, compare and ultimately decide who to spend their money with. If retailers are not accessible by mobile or do not deliver the same quality of customer experience that their target market expects, they risk losing out to their mobile-savvy competitors.”