UK Consumers to spend £53.6 billion a year using their smartphones and tablets

Almost half of all purchases will be made using a mobile device by 2024

By 2024, nearly half (42 per cent) of all retail sales will be made on a smartphone or tablet or other mobile device, making mobile the fastest growing retail segment.

Research by Barclays suggests that consumer spending using mobiles will hit £53.6 billion a year by 2024, up from the current £9.7 billion.

Mobile is rapidly becoming the fastest growing retail segment as consumers are targeted with location-based and personalised marketing delivered straight to their devices, plus in-store initiatives such as augmented reality campaigns.

Richard Lowe, MD and head of retail and wholesale at Barclays, said: “Online retail was once seen as a threat to bricks and mortar stores.

“However, retailers are starting to discover that mobile technology doesn’t just enable them to compete in the same space as pure-play competitors but also provides an opportunity to increase sales through stores.”

In 2009, 14 per cent of consumers aged 16 or over owned a smartphone. By 2014 the number had more than quadrupled to 61 per cent, and by 2019 around three quarters of adults are predicted to own one.

57 per cent of consumers suggested that all shops should offer free Wi-Fi. Currently, 14 per cent of retailers offer in-store Wi-Fi and seven per cent more plan to invest in it in the future.

Less than three per cent of retailers think their business is at the cutting-edge when it comes to being mobile ready. Plus, 70 per cent admitted that they didn’t offer a mobile app or a mobile optimised website for their business.

Showrooming is an ongoing issue for high street retailers, where shoppers will browse a store, then search online using their mobile for cheaper prices elsewhere.

Richard Lower concluded: “Inevitably, practises such as ‘showrooming’ leads to some sales shifting online but, with almost three quarters of consumers using their mobile devices whilst out and about, ignoring this trend would be a missed opportunity.

“Ultimately, the easiest way to drive sales is to make the shopping process as simple as possible, and retailers must cater for the mobile consumer in order to remain relevant; engaging with them through a platform that they have become increasingly reliant on.”

Image source: Shutterstock

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