Mobile to drive more than a quarter of UK e-commerce by 2017

Consumer confidence is increasing

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 buying goods on smartphones and tablets. 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 figures come from eMarketer’s first ever UK-focused report and show that smartphone and tablet uptake is this year expected to drive GBP6.6bn (USD10.49bn) in sales, reaching GBP17.24bn (USD27.36bn) by 2017.

Tablets Increasingly Important

The report says that purchases made through tablet devices are treble-digit growth for the third consecutive year this year, generating GBP3.57bn (USD5.67bn) in sales. By contrast smartphones, which are expected to be used by 23.4m consumers this year, will see a drop to 42.6% of mobile commerce, illustrating that tablets are quickly becoming the primary device for mobile commerce. This is reflected in the US, where tablets are set to account for nearly two-thirds of the projected USD37.4bn mobile commerce spend this year.

Smartphones’ Browsing Role

Mobile commerce spend in the US topped USD5.9bn during Q1, equating to a little more than 10% of overall USD50bn e-commerce spend during the quarter. However, smartphones remainthe primary devices used for browsing in the US, accounting for more than a third of time spent on e-commerce sites, while tablets made up 14%. Increasing smartphone penetration in emerging markets means that mobile traffic is also expected to become an important factor for e-commerce sites wanting to cash in on rapidly-growing economies. 


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