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Tablets to account for 10% of UK e-tail sales and dominate m-comm, says eMarketer

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Tablet commerce will triple this year to reach £4.74 billion and take 10.4% of total UK retail e-commerce sales, according to eMarketer’s latest forecasts. For the first time, more m=commerce sales will occur on tablets than smartphones, with tablets expected to account for 58.0% of all retail m-commerce sales in the UK, against a 40.5% share occurring on smartphones.

By 2017, that figure will reach nearly £18 billion ($28.57 billion), to account for over a quarter of all UK retail ecommerce sales.

The tablet is fast becoming a mass-market device in the UK and this year, eMarketer estimates, 20 million people-more than one in three consumers in the UK-will use one. This year, tablets will account for a larger-than-expected share of total UK m-commerce sales, according to the newly revised forecast. eMarketer expects that tablet’s share will reach 58.0% in 2013, up from our previous prediction of 54.0%.

Retail m-commerce sales via smartphone are expected to continue growing at a double-digit rate through the end of eMarketer’s forecast period, but spending levels will lose further ground to tablets quickly. By 2015, tablet m-commerce spending will be more than twice that on smartphones, and by 2017, it will approach three times the amount.

eMarketer predicts robust growth of 18.0% in overall retail ecommerce sales this year, to £45.40 billion, and this growth will continue at double-digit rates for several years to come. With total retail sales remaining all but flat, digital commerce’s share of the total will continue to increase.

UK retail sales of goods and services via mobile devices are expected to more than double this year to £8.17 billion ($12.97 billion), accounting for 18% of total UK retail e-commerce sales, according to new figures from eMarketer.

eMarketer bases all of our forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends as well as trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.

Additionally, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all our forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.

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