In 2019, and for the first time ever, consumers will be as likely to use their smartphones to shop as they would using a laptop or desktop, according to research by price comparison and switching service uSwitch.com. And they are pointing their devices at Amazon, eBay and Argos.
Shoppers plan to spend £25bn using their smartphones this year, a £10bn rise on 2018. More than 30 million UK consumers (58%) will use smart devices to shop this year – an increase of 12 million, or 66%, compared to 2018.
The popularity of smartphone and tablet shopping is being driven by convenience, which two thirds (66%) of shoppers say is the main draw of using a smart device. The ability to shop at any time (64%), compare prices (40%) and the superior choice available (39%) are other strong influencers, while more than a third (36%) believe online shopping represents better value.
Clothes are by far the most popular product bought online (69%), ahead of books (51%), groceries (47%) and theatre or cinema tickets (43%). The most popular websites used for online shopping, however, are not exclusively clothes retailers – 89% of consumers use Amazon and 63% use eBay.
The convenience and the ‘always on’ nature of smartphone shopping means that no matter where people are, they can spend on their phones. The living room is the preferred location for most (78%) with nearly a tenth (8%) shopping on their daily commute.
Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com, explains: “For so many of us now, our smartphone is an extension of our hand and we have it with us at all times, meaning that we can shop whenever and wherever we like. Our handsets allow us to window shop all the time, and if we see something we like, it is right there at our fingertips.”
Bhikha continues: “With smartphone and tablet shopping now a £25 billion industry, it’s hardly surprising that major retailers have long adopted a mobile-first approach to their websites and have even introduced their own apps to make the user experience as easy as possible. Cleaner user journeys and the ease of one-click purchasing will only add to the number of people shopping on their phones and tablets. Providing your phone has a decent connection to either a good broadband supply or 3G or 4G, you can shop any time and any place – and this year more Brits than ever look set to take advantage of that.”
Smart home tech is now very popular – and it is time to connect it to retail, according to a study by RecycleZone.
A third of UK consumers are tempted by the idea of fitting smart shelves that can automatically re-order items as soon as they run out, 37% are attracted by the concept of a smart fridge that suggests recipes based on what food is in there and 34% want kitchen appliances that can connect and be remotely controlled by smart speakers and/or voice assistants. Surprisingly, 32% are drawn to the appeal of a laundry folding robot.
Perhaps more interestingly, 35% are keen to try an interactive shopping method – whereby they can buy the clothing people are wearing on TV through an app in real time.
Interested in emerging technological trends, RecycleZone.org.uk analysed the latest findings from Mindshare, which surveyed more than 6,000 UK consumers to identify the new type of smart technology they would most like to own in their home.
It concludes that smart, web-enabled devices that can function and be controlled in conjunction with one another to create a ‘connected’ working or living environment have captured the imagination and wallets of consumers. So much so, that 40% of Brits now think smart home technology has improved their standard of living, according to statistics from Thomas Sanderson.
Looking at the data, RecycleZone found that a smart thermostat which automatically adjusts based on an individual’s body temperature (46%), is the smart technology Brits would most like to have in their home. Thereafter, a smart vacuum cleaner that can also move items/clutter off the floor (40%), is the next highly desired smart device that homeowners will happily purchase and use.
Shawn Hallums, a spokesperson from RecycleZone explains: “Technology has significantly evolved. We are in the era of instant gratification – where people want to utilise technology that makes different aspects of their life easier and more efficient. Companies have quickly realised this and created a multitude of devices and applications to cater to this apparent need. Now with a plethora of innovations available on the mass market, many of them have proved to be hugely popular and valuable. As existing as well as new technology advances and develops, consumers’ expectations will undoubtedly grow. This research highlights the new wave of smart technology which is exciting Brits the most. Certainly, enough to want to own and use them in their living environment”.