Jul 6, 2017
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UK smartphone spend to beat tablets by 2018

Jul 6, 2017

UK spending via smartphones will finally be higher spending via tablets next year, accounting for 51.5% of the UK mobile market in 2018, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData. And fashion will be key to this growth.

Larger screens and better tech have switched consumers on to smartphone shopping - Photo: Archive

Tablets remain important but spending on these devices is on the way down as smartphone screens get bigger, more websites and apps are smartphone-optimised, and consumers choose to spend more time on them as a result.

The result of all this? Spend via these devices is set to grow 112% in the next five years. Key sectors aiding market acceleration via smartphone are clothing & footwear, which has the highest proportion of sales on smartphone, and food & grocery, the research firm said.

In a new report, Mobile & Tablet Retailing In The UK 2017, the firm said shopper behaviour has shifted over the last five years, with smartphones now seen as the go-to information source for a wide variety of subjects, and with shopping near the top of the activity list.

The change has come at the same time as tech innovation has made shopping so much easier via a phone. 4G connectivity and bigger screens has made the very visual experience of fashion shopping much more enjoyable than it was on mobile phones just a few years ago.

The evidence for this is the rise in retail revenue with smartphones currently accounting for 15.1% of all online takings but set to rise to 23.8% by 20222.

GlobalData analyst Charlotte Pearce said the clothing & footwear sector will account for 42% of all smartphone spend by 2022 as online pureplays such as Asos and Boohoo target younger shoppers who are pro-smartphone shopping. “These kind of fast fashion pureplays are already experiencing high penetration from smartphones at around 70% of all traffic,” she said.

The company also said that if retailers want to stay ahead of the curve, they need to encourage downloads of their mobile apps by adding features to aid conversion and improving functionality.

They also need to drive loyalty. Pearce added: “In an increasingly competitive market where consumers are also shifting their spend from retail to leisure, loyalty schemes have become a hot topic aimed at driving spend per head, with many retailers launching programmes in the past year. Retailers should use promotional activity to drive awareness of new apps and the benefits of using these to encourage downloads and repeat app use.”

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