Big growth in UK m-commerce spending expected in 2015
Brits are set to make more than a quarter (28.6%) of all online purchases through mobile devices in 2015, according to an international study commissioned by digital offer marketplace RetailMeNot Inc.
The study, carried out by the Centre for Retail Research, presents the key figures and trends for mobile commerce in eight European markets and North America.
The report confirms the UK’s status as the largest m-commerce market in Europe, with sales of £14.95bn expected in 2015. Brits are set to spend an average of £1m on mobile devices every 35 minutes throughout the year – or, to put it another way, £474 a second.
The UK is forecast to account for 39.4% of all m-commerce sales in Europe this year, worth £37.9bn; however, this is dwarfed by the US where mobile spend is predicted to reach £57.7bn this year, up from £35.4bn in 2014.
After the UK, Germany and France have the largest m-commerce markets in Europe. However, the UK m-commerce market is 21% bigger than Germany’s, which is worth £12.4bn, and two-and-a-half times larger than France’s, which is worth £5.9 billion.
The UK market is almost 25 times larger than Poland’s, at £0.6bn – the smallest market studied in the report. In stark comparison, around £0.6bn is spent via mobile devices in the UK every two weeks.
Across Europe, m-commerce sales are forecast to grow by 88.8% this year, while UK growth is set to rise by 77.8%. The fastest-growing markets for m-commerce across Europe are Poland, at 108.8%, Germany, at 103.1%, and Spain, at 97.4%. The US m-commerce market is set to grow by 63.1% in 2015.
Giulio Montemagno, senior vice president of international business activities at RetailMeNot, said: “Mobile is now the driving force behind e-commerce growth, accounting for more than one in four pounds spent online in the UK this year. However, the true impact of mobile on retail is much greater than this.
“Our research suggests that mobile is becoming a shopping companion for many Brits. Almost three-quarters of mobile users regularly visit retailers’ websites to browse or make purchases, with some retailers seeing as many as one in two visits to their sites come through mobile. Faced with some high rates of growth and a huge opportunity to drive sales, ignoring mobile is simply not an option for retailers in 2015.”
While PCs hold onto their position as consumers’ first choice for making online transactions, the report shows that sales on smartphones and tablets are growing fast.
Across Europe, sales made through tablets are set to grow by 83.6% in 2015; meanwhile, sales via smartphones are expected to grow by 92.8%. As a result, spend on tablets should increase from £8.8bn in 2014 to £16.15bn this year, and should almost double on smartphones, rising from £11.29bn last year to £21.76bn in 2015.
Although mobile devices are increasingly used to search for product information, compare prices or look for digital coupons and offers, most transactions still take place through other channels.
In 2014, 18.7% of online purchases in the UK were made on a mobile device; 10.7% of them on a smartphone and 8% on tablet, compared to 81.3% on PCs. However, this is expected to shift further towards mobile in 2015. The report projects that mobile will account for 28.6% of all online purchases in the UK in 2015, with 16.5% of all purchases made on smartphones and 12.1% made on tablets.
Giulio added: “Mobile must be felt in everything that retailers do. Consumers don’t think of retailers as having online, offline or mobile channels. They just want to shop and find the best offers in the way that is most convenient for them. Savvy retailers have recognised this and are already beginning to make use of new technologies such as geolocalisation, beacons, and mobile coupons to target consumers through the device they use most, and to provide a seamless purchase path and a truly multi-channel shopping experience.”