Shopping via smartphones and tablets to rise by £10bn, survey suggests

Some 30 million Britons will use smart devices to spend £25 billion this year, the poll for uSwitch suggests.

Shopping via smart devices.
Shopping via smart devices.

Shopping via smartphones and tablets is set to rise by £10 billion on last year as consumers will make more visits to online sites than malls for the first time, a survey suggests.

Some 30 million Britons (58%) will use smart devices to shop this year, an increase of 12 million on last year, with spending to reach £25 billion, a rise of 66% on last year, according to the poll by uSwitch.

The findings indicate that more people now buy online using a smart device (58%) than in shopping centres (56%).

Convenience is driving the popularity of smartphone and tablet shopping, with 66% of shoppers citing it as the main draw of using a smart device, while 64% cited the ability to shop at any time, 40% appreciated being able to compare prices and 39% said it provided them with more choice.

Clothes are by far the most popular product bought online (69%), ahead of books (51%), groceries (47%) and theatre or cinema tickets (43%).

Ru Bhikha, mobiles spokesman at uSwitch, said: “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.”

Rachel Lund, head of retail insights and analytics at the British Retail Consortium, said: “The BRC-Hitwise monitor shows more than 50% of hits on retailers’ websites coming from mobile phones. The challenge continues to be in driving conversions.

“Smartphones are not a threat to the high street, but an opportunity for retailers able to integrate the physical and digital experience, particularly as shoppers often browse websites whilst in shops.”

Opinium surveyed 2,005 adults online between December 14-18.

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