UK consumers are set to spend £25bn on their mobile phones this year as, for the first time ever, smartphones become just as likely to be used as desktop to make purchases. The spending will represent an increase of £10bn on 2018.
Smart devices, in general, will be used by over 30m Brits – or 58 per cent of the UK adult population – to shop this year, increasing by 12m over 2018, according to uSwitch.com.
66 per cent of the 2,005 UK adults surveyed by Opinium, commissioned by uSwitch, cited convenience as the main reason for using smart devices. This was followed by the ability to shop at any time (64 per cent), ability to compare prices (40 per cent), and the larger choice available (39 per cent). Furthermore, 36 per cent believe online shopping represents better value.
Clothes were found to be the most popular product bought online, ahead of books, groceries, and theatre or cinema tickets. The most popular places to pick up these products are Amazon and eBay – with 89 per cent and 63 per cent using the platforms in the last year respectively.
The living room is the preferred location for 78 per cent of Brits to do their smartphone shopping, but 14 per cent do so at work and eight per cent shop on their daily commute. Six per cent even shop while in the bathroom – with under 35s twice as likely to do so.
“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,” said Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com.
“With smartphone and tablet shopping now a £25bn 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.”