Purchases on mobile phones and tablets likely to rise to £23bn, says Verdict
Shoppers will nearly triple the amount they spend via mobile phones and tablets over the next five years, taking the total to £23.1bn, according to the retail research firm Verdict.
Most of the increase will come as shoppers switch from laptops to mobile devices, though improving economic conditions and investment from retailers to encourage customers to buy from shop assistants wielding iPads will also help lift sales from an estimated £7.9bn this year.
Matthew Rubin, a Verdict analyst, said: “Mobile phone spend has grown rapidly, though it remains relatively small, while tablet spend has grown from nothing to almost twice the size of mobile phone spend in just the two years to 2012 and that trend has continued into 2013.”
The launch of cheaper tablet computers, such as Tesco’s Hudl and Argos’s MyTablet, is also encouraging new types of shoppers such as less well-off over-55s to try out shopping using a mobile device, according to Verdict. Rubin suggested the move could drive a boom in sales of cheaper products via the internet, particularly clothing, which is proving to be particularly popular on tablets.
He said the switch could be a “major concern for retailers with a physical presence”, but with only 7% of mobile phone transactions completed inside a store there was still plenty of opportunity to ensure sales were gathered by a traditional till.
Sales via mobile devices are expected to grow significantly this December as more people open presents containing iPads, Google’s Nexus tablet computer or a Hudl on Christmas Day. More than half of the 8m tablets sold in Britain last year were bought in the last three months of the year. This year, more than 8m are expected to fly off the shelves up to Christmas. The change is driving a revolution in the busiest time for retailers, with spikes in mobile activity before breakfast and during the most popular evening TV shows.
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