The UK’s shoppers are set to spend £14.95 billion via mobile devices in 2015, an increase of 77.8% on £8.41 billion in 2014, while PC spending will grow by just 2%, finds international research conducted by RetailMeNot, the operator or Vouchercodes.co.uk.
According to the study, mobile devices will account for 28.6% of all online purchases in the UK in 2015; 16.5% of all online purchases will be made on smartphones and 12.1% will be made on tablets. In terms of cash, this means that spending on smartphones is predicted to increase by 79.4% to £8.63 billion while spending on tablet devices is expected to grow by 75.6% to £6.32 billion.
PCs should continue to make up the lion’s share of all online spending in the UK in 2015, accounting for 71.4% of sales, however this is a significant decrease on 81.3% in 2014, and its hold on e-commerce will tail off over coming years.
The report confirms the UK’s status as the largest m-commerce market in Europe, with Brits set to spend an average of £1 million on mobile devices every 35 minutes throughout the year – or to put it another way, £474 a second.
The UK is forecast to account for almost two-fifths (39.4%) of all m-commerce sales in Europe this year (£37.9 billion), however this is dwarfed by the US where mobile spend is predicted to reach £57.7 billion this year – up from £35.4 billion in 2014.
The UK m-commerce market is more than a fifth bigger (21%) than Germany (£12.4 billion) and the market is 2.5 times (152.5%) larger than France (£5.9 billion) – the largest markets in Europe after the UK. The UK market is almost 25 times larger than Poland (£0.6 billion) – the smallest market studied in the report. In stark comparison, around £0.6 billion is spent via mobile devices in the UK every two weeks.
Across Europe, m-commerce sales are forecast to grow by 88.8% this year, while UK growth is set to rise by 77.8%. The fastest growing markets for m-commerce across Europe are Poland (108.8%), Germany (103.1%), and Spain (97.4%). The US m-commerce market is set to grow by 63.1% in 2015.
Giulio Montemagno, Senior Vice President of International at RetailMeNot, explains: “Mobile is now the driving force behind e-commerce growth, accounting for more than one in four pounds spent online in the UK this year. However the true impact of mobile on retail is much greater than this. Our research suggests that mobile is becoming a ‘shopping companion’ for many Brits. Almost three-quarters of mobile users regularly visit retailer’s websites to browse or make purchases, with some retailers seeing as many as one in two visits to their websites come through mobile. Faced with some high rates of growth and a huge opportunity to drive sales, ignoring mobile is simply not an option for retailers in 2015.”
While PCs hold on to their position as consumers’ first choice for making online transactions, the report shows that sales on smartphones and tablets are growing fast.
Across Europe, sales made through tablets are set to grow by 83.6% in 2015 and 92.8% through smartphones. As a result, spend on tablets should increase from £8.8 billion in 2014 to £16.15 billion this year and should almost double on smartphones, rising from £11.29 billion last year to £21.76 billion in 2015.
Although mobile devices are increasingly used to search for product information, compare prices or look for digital coupons and offers, most transactions still take place through other channels.
In 2014, 18.7% of online purchases in the UK were made on a mobile device; 10.7% of them on a smartphone and 8% on tablet, compared to 81.3% on PCs. However, this is expected to shift further towards mobile in 2015. The report projects that mobile will account for 28.6% of all online purchases in the UK in 2015, with 16.5% of all purchases made on smartphones and 12.1% made on tablets.
Montemagno adds: “Mobile must be felt in everything that retailers do. Consumers don’t think of retailers as having online, offline or mobile channels. They just want to shop and find the best offers in the way that is most convenient for them. Savvy retailers have recognized this and are already beginning to make use of new technologies such as geolocalisation, beacons, and mobile coupons, to target consumers through the device they use most and to provide a seamless purchase path and a truly multichannel shopping experience.”