Commuters will spend £9.3 billion via smartphones and tablets

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New research reveals that 20 per cent of all UK online shopping purchases now happen during people’s daily commute.

The research from Zapp, a mobile payments company, and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has found that ‘Commuter Commerce’ now accounts for £9.3 billion each year as commuters make the most of faster internet speeds and, more crucially, Wi-Fi on public transport, including in 150 London underground stations.

During the commute, Britons spend £36 per week on average, a figure that rises to £44 per week for London commuters.

In fact, the amount spent by London commuters accounts for nearly two-thirds (£5.9 billion) of the total spend nationally.

Clothing is the most popular category for commuters with 71 per cent of commuting Britons saying they purchase clothing online during their commute on an average week.

Digital downloads are a close second with 68 per cent saying they paid for digital downloads of entertainment and media during their commute.  The likes of DVD and CD purchases also featured highly with 65 per cent saying they have ordered that sort of entertainment media during an average week of commuting.

“People in Britain spend more online per head than any other nation, and it seems our love affair with online shopping now also extends to the morning rush hour. The data shows that commuter commerce is booming in the UK as savvy commuters use their time efficiently to make the purchases they just don’t have time for normally,” said Zapp CEO Peter Keenan.

Ordering groceries and takeaways were also popular with commuters with 62 per cent ordering the former and 60 per cent the latter.

When asked why commuters spend during their commute the most popular reason given was ‘to pass the time’, which was followed by it simply being the most convenient time to shop.

The peak morning rush (from 7am until 9am) sees the biggest spike in shopping, when 1.5 million commuters are estimated to be shopping.

“If you got on the 7:32 from Brighton to London this morning, it is likely that almost a third of your train would have been using their mobile device to shop,” said the Zapp team.

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