The Centre for Retail Research (CRR) and online retailer VoucherCodes.co.uk has predicted that the UK will spend over £27 billion buying stuff on their mobile phones this year. That’s the same value as Britain’s legal-services sector. It’s also the same amount the government lost bailing out banks after Brexit.
It’s a lot of money. It’s twice as much as Microsoft paid for LinkedIn. It’s almost twice a triple rollover on Lotto. It could run the NHS’s central heating for a whole eight days. And it could also buy you £27bn worth of Internet goods that you bought on your phone. Strangely.
The sum beats the rest of Europe. The CRR says that Germany will come second with a paltry £24.54 billion followed by France at a miserable £11.54 billion. Sacre bleu.
What about total online spending in the UK? That’ll reach £67.38 billion this year and is forecast to hit £73.58 billion by 2018 – a huge increase on 2014’s miserable effort of £46.19 billion.
We might not win at sport, but when it comes to spending online, we’re the undisputed kings of Europe.
The number of UK mobile shoppers is also expected to rise – from 23 million last year to an impressive 28 million this year. This is down to more retailers adopting a mobile-first strategy. That, and the physical inability of Brits to raise their heads from their screens for more than eight seconds.
By the end of the year, 27.9% of online retail sales in Europe will be made on mobile devices. In the UK, though, that figure is 40.1%.
Behind it all is greater consumer trust around shopping on phones plus a better mobile shopping experience provided by retailers. The advent of cool payment systems such as ApplePay has also helped people empty their bank accounts in search of shiny new stuff.
“These latest figures confirm the increasing significance of mobile to both retailers and consumers, which is now the main driver for the continued growth of the online retail sector,” VoucherCodes.co.uk managing director Claire Davenport said.
“This year, 40 pence of every pound spent online will come from a mobile transaction, a reality that retailers simply cannot ignore. To remain competitive and respond to customer demands, it is more vital than ever for UK retailers to evolve their mobile offering.
“This can be done by providing an optimised and mobile-friendly online shopping experience, developing truly seamless customer experiences.”