Purchases made via mobile devices will account for a rapidly growing share of UK retail ecommerce sales this year, according to eMarketer's latest estimates. In 2015, a third of all online sales in the UK will take place via smartphones and tablets; by 2019, that figure will rise to over 40 per cent.
eMarketer estimates that UK retail ecommerce sales will rise 14.5 per cent this year to reach £60.4bn, driven by an improving economy, shoppers' increasing usage of mobile devices for making purchases and expanded options for purchase delivery. Indeed, digital will be the main driver of overall retail sales growth, and as a consequence, its share of total retail sales will increase to 14.4 per cent in 2015. This will place the UK atop the global rankings when it comes to ecommerce's portion of total retail sales. China will come in second, with a 12 per cent share, with the US well back at 7.1 per cent.
Meanwhile, the growth trajectory for mCommerce sales is particularly steep, with a rise of 30.3 per cent forecast this year. eMarketer predicts UK retail mCommerce sales will reach £19.9bn in 2015, and by 2019, that figure will almost double to just short of £37bn.
Tablets are particularly significant for UK mCommerce sales growth, eMarketer notes. As more consumers have embraced these devices for lean-back browsing of potential purchases, retailers have made greater efforts to make sure their tablet retail sites and apps are particularly rich and responsive. This year, eMarketer predicts that tablet retail mCommerce sales will hit £13.3bn, a 66.5 per cent of UK retail mcommerce sales overall. That's up from 2013, when tablets took a 60.5 per cent share of retail mcommerce sales.
"That mobile is playing an increasingly important role in the retail shopping habits of UK consumers is without question, be that via smartphone, phablet or tablet,” said eMarketer analyst, Bill Fisher. “What this demonstrates, though, is that digital shopping and buying long ago entered the mainstream for most UK consumers, and buying via mobile is just the next step. Indeed, device-agnostic buying, thanks to users' familiarity with these various device types, is becoming the norm."