Npexels-photo-215367ew research suggests, once again, that the UK, whilst undeniably great at some things, is still living in the late autumn of 1957 when it comes to others.

The UK is a world-renowned authority on nice gardens, tea, jet engines, sticky-toffee pudding, moaning, Shakespeare, Morris dancing and full-English breakfasts.

The world is grateful. Apart from the Morris dancing thing, obviously. But it seems there are some areas where we’re lagging behind. One being the rather important area of smartphone shopping.

Did you know that smartphone shopping is predicted to account for 66% of every single purchase made over the next four years? And that it’s set to triple in value to £43 million?

According to new research conducted by the boffins at Paypal UK, OC&C Strategy Consultants and Google, the UK is way behind overseas rivals on this score. It seems US websites load up to 25% faster than UK comparisons.

Before you say ‘big whoopedy-doo’, consider this: data from Google suggests that even a one-second cut in loading time can boost conversion by over 25%.

“Speed is an important factor in any shopping experience but, when it comes to mobile shopping, it’s vital,” PayPal UK mobile commerce director Rob Harper said.

“Retailers can reduce the time it takes to browse and select a purchase but, if it takes too long to pay, they may lose that sale. It’s a problem that retailers can easily address.”

And it seems that, in China, 250 million consumers have been happy to buy through a popular messaging app. No names, no pack drill. However, UK companies have been slow to latch on to this key sales channel.

The report also says that, by 2020, 80% of online retail will involve research, transactions and price comparisons with a smartphone. While here in the UK, we’ll possibly still be moaning about the closure of Woolworth’s.

“The next evolution of mobile shopping will reduce the consumer journey even further,” Harper said.

“Contextual commerce will enable consumers to buy things at the point of discovery – whether that’s in an email, on a Pinterest page or in a messenger app – rather than needing to click through to an online shop.

“Mobile technology is determining the future of e-commerce, and retailers need to act now to prepare themselves accordingly.”

UK: you have been warned. Now just jolly well shape yourself, old chap.

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Author Chris Painter

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