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In, out, shake your mobile all about

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I feel I should be writing a profound piece about Brexit, but I find that I am too depressed: you may or may not agree with me, but I can’t see how this is a good thing. However, in an attempt to brighten my mood, I have turned to the Euro 2016 football championships for solice (I’ve adopted Iceland as my new home, , spiritually if not literally, since Brexit became a reality) and so have been greatly cheered up. They aren’t in Europe in one sense, but in a footballing sense they still are.

It seems too that it isn’t just me that is looking to the football to gain some insights into why so many of my fellow countrymen (when I was English, not my new Icelandic fellow countrymen) voted to leave.

This isn’t the place to get into the real issues of migration, poverty, inequality and isolation, but, as our story reveals, there are some real differences in how we shop while we watch football and, further, how we shop on mobile period.

According to a study of shopping habits on its social shopping sites around Europe, has found that, in the UK, while we watch football, more shopping takes place on mobile while the game is on than when it isn’t. In Europe, this doesn’t happen: they shop on mobile after the game. That’s a ‘fact’ you didn’t see on the Brexit Battle Bus now was it?

If that isn’t enough, then research on how consumers use mobile to shop more generally that has also undertaken reveals yet more stark data showing just how different we are to Europe.

When it comes to shopping on mobile, the UK is right up there with the leaders – with more than 61% of shoppers buying from’s sites at least doing so on mobile. In ex-fellow-European country Germany its only 48% and in Poland just 45%. In fact, the UK is way out in front of most of Europe when it comes to mobile shopping, bested only by Holland (62%) and Brazil (65.5%).

So while this conclusively proves that we are better off out of Europe, it also shows how advanced m-commerce is in the UK. And that, in these dark and inward looking times, makes me proud to have been British (for I am now Icelandic, until the weekend at least).

What this means is that UK shoppers have really embraced mobile as a shopping channel and are doing it with alacrity, which can only be good news for retailers who are investing in mobile right now.

The economy may well be uncertain for the next few months and even years, but shopping habits are unlikely to change even if volume does. These two studies, while pointing out how different we really are to Europeans, show how rapidly mobile has gripped the British shopping public.

This mobilisation is also having the knock on effect that ‘conversational commerce’ and personalisation are also starting to gain ground as new ways that consumers want to interact with retail brands. Mobile is rapidly reshaping the retail landscape and even with the predicted recession and all the other turmoil in the world, these changes are going to also have a massive impact on your business.

And that leaves you all with a tough decision. Do you carry on investing to meet your customers’ needs from a technological point of view while the economy and perhaps your business temporarily tank or do you carry on as you are until either things pick up or sense prevails and we undo this huge collective error of judgement?

The smart money will be on investment to cater to customer needs for personalisation and conversational commerce as you will have to fight harder than ever for cash-strapped customers, but in these uncertain times that is quite a stretch. Let’s hope in a few weeks time, when Iceland are triumphant in Euro 2016 and I’m tucking into a celebratory whale supper the situation we find ourselves in politically is a little clearer and we can get on with making mobile retail fly.

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