Consumers set to spend £25 billion per year via their smartphones, according to uSwitch research.
Research carried out by Opinium, on behalf of uSwitch surveyed 2,005 UK adults from 14th to 18th December 2018. The results were then weighted to reflect nationally representative criteria.
For the first time ever, consumers will be as likely to use their smartphones to shop as they would using a laptop or desktop. More people now buy online using a smart device (58%) than in shopping centres (56%) – and smart devices are as popular as laptops and desktops for online shopping.
Predictions for 2019 are that £25 billion will be spent on goods ordered from smartphones – £10 billion more than in 2018.
30 million Brits will use their phone to shop in 2019 – a 66% rise since 2018.
The popularity of smartphone and tablet shopping is being driven by convenience, with two thirds (66%) of smartphone shoppers doing so for this reason. The ability to shop at any time (64%), compare prices (40%) and the superior choice available (39%) are other strong influencers, while more than a third (36%) believe online shopping represents better value.
The convenience and the ‘always on’ nature of smartphone shopping means no matter where people are, they can spend on their phones. The living room is the preferred location for most (78%), but one in seven Brits (14%) sneakily shop at work and nearly a tenth (8%) do so on their daily commute.
A notable portion (6%) even admit to shopping on their phone while using the bathroom – with those aged under 35 more than twice as likely to do so (14%). In fact, the bathroom is a more popular place to online shop for younger people than the kitchen (13%).
Amazon, eBay and Argos are the most popular sites to buy from, while clothes, books, groceries and event tickets are the most commonly bought products.
Clothes are by far the most popular product bought online (69%), ahead of books (51%), groceries (47%) and theatre or cinema tickets (43%). The most popular websites used for online shopping, however, are not exclusively clothes retailers – 89% of consumers use Amazon and 63% use eBay.
Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com, says: “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.
“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.
“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.”
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