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UK mobile spend set to double to £33.2bn in the next five years: GlobalData

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Mobile will continue to be the fastest growing area in the UK retail market, with spend set to increase by £17.1bn in the next five years to reach £33.2bn by 2024, according to new research.

The report, UK Online, mobile & tablet retailing 2019-2024, from data and analytics business GlobalData suggests that mobile will account for more than 40% of online spending by 2024. It predicts tablets losing share of that mobile market, however, as shoppers opt to buy via smartphone instead. Tablet spending, it says, will decline by 14.4% by 2024.

Sofie Willmott, senior retail analyst at GlobalData, said: “Retailer investment in mobile-optimised sites and apps, alongside advancements in technology and the surge in social commerce will all contribute to significant mobile growth over the next five years. Clothing and footwear will be a driving force behind the channel, with mobile accounting for 19.1% of all clothing and footwear expenditure by 2023, up from 9.2% in 2019.”

The fact that more than half of online shoppers already buy by mobile has caused retailers to prioritise mobile development in order to offer shoppers a smooth experience. Some 80.2% of online shoppers under 35 have bought via their smartphone, as retailers including Amazon, Asos and H&M have provided mobile websites and apps that are easy to use, with tools including wish lists and visual search, Klarna’s buy now, pay later, and Amazon’s one-click ordering. Both of these help to ensure, says GlobalData, that buying is hassle-free through a smaller screen.

Wilmott said: “While achieving growth in the UK retail market remains challenging as shoppers hold back on non-essential buys, retailers must respond to changing shopping behaviour and focus their efforts on the mobile channel to capitalise on the shift in spend.”

Our view: The continued fast growth in mobile spending is likely to have a significant effect on retailers as they ensure that their online channels are suited to the needs of customers who are now more likely to use a smartphone to buy.

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