Two-thirds of UK mobile shoppers say they are primarily making purchases on their smartphones at home, while around a fifth are buying goods on the move according to new research. The data is based on a new survey of mobile shoppers in the UK from Shoppercentric and although the research house does not break out comparable figures for last year, the findings highlight the shift in behaviour as consumers increasingly use smartphones as they once used desktops.
Although this is in part attributable to more reliable and faster Wi-Fi connections often available at home, with smartphone ownership in the UK now accounting for more than half the population and online spending continue to accelerate, mobile commerce is edging closer to the mainstream.
“Access to free Wi-Fi is no doubt a factor behind high usage from home or the office,” says Shoppercentric MD, Danielle Pinnington. “But…our findings imply that it’s the immediacy of a smartphone that is so attractive to shoppers since they literally have it with them at all times – always being charged and switched on.”
Retailers Ignore Mobile At Own Peril
Pinnington says the rate at which consumers are taking to mobile commerce means that retailers are ignoring the shift toward shopping on smartphones and tablets at their own risk. Although smartphones currently dominate mobile sales, Shoppercentric claims shoppers are increasingly turning to tablets, with uptake likely boosted by the proliferation of cheaper devices now available on the market. The report claims while last year there were 20 percentage points between the devices in terms of which those polled said they would choose to buy goods, this has now dropped significantly to just one point.
“M-commerce is undoubtedly transforming the retail landscape at an unprecedented rate and smartphone usage is at the heart of this change,” says Pinnington. “The smarter brands and retailers are already adapting their integrated marketing plans to ensure m-commerce is a strong touch point in the purchase process – those that don’t do so at their peril since they risk losing out on significant market share and failing to attract a new generation of shoppers.”
Pinnington adds that while mobile phone owners are using their phone more to buy goods, use at the point-of-sale is still quite limited because they are still reticent about using the device itself to pay for goods using a mobile wallet or NFC because of security fears. She says the mobile payments infrastructure still has a long way to go before m-commerce becomes truly mainstream, with consumers often being directed to web, rather mobile-enabled sites when they are browsing on their phones. She says while consumers are embracing mobile and ownership continues to rocket around the world retailers and brands are lagging well behind consumers when it comes to m-commerce.
Mobile Commerce Boom
Figures from eMarketer forecast mobile transactions will account for more than a quarter of all online purchases made in the UK by 2017, up from 15% this year, as consumers become increasingly confident. E-commerce on the whole is set to continue growing strongly in the UK, with online purchases accounting for 11% of the UK’s GBP383bn (USD600bn) retail market this year, a rise from last year’s 10.2%. The report claims smartphone and tablet uptake is this year expected to drive GBP6.6bn (USD10.49bn) in sales, reaching GBP17.24bn (USD27.36bn) by 2017.
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