The UK is emerging as the European capital of m-commerce, as the majority of British consumers now use their phones when shopping, according to new data* from VoucherCodes.co.uk and Ipsos Public Affairs.
The international survey, carried out by Ipsos Public Affairs examined consumer attitude towards mobile shopping across 11 key territories and reveals the growing influence of mobile for all aspects of the purchase cycle. Mobile usage differs dramatically from country to country, but the UK has emerged as a European leader in all things related to m-commerce.
Purchasing on a mobile
Over half of UK consumers now use their mobile when shopping (56 per cent), but the influence of these devices is no longer limited to simply browsing or comparing prices. A fifth of British shoppers have made purchases through their phone (22 per cent), with 10 per cent now using it as their primary method of shopping. These figures are significant when compared to other major European economies. In France, just four per cent claim to have ever made purchase through a mobile device, whereas Germany and the Netherlands boast just 14 and eight per cent respectively.
Researching and showrooming
Smartphones are also having an impact on the way we research and make purchase decisions. A third of UK shoppers have used their device to research future purchases (33 per cent), while a quarter have actually checked the price of an item on their phones while in-store (24 per cent). With many retailers concerned about the influence of showrooming, these figures highlight the need to address the potentially negative aspects of this practice. When it comes to showrooming, the behaviour of UK consumers is far more proactive than other EU countries – 18 per cent of German consumers admit to checking prices while in-store, falling to just 11 per cent of Dutch and eight per cent of French shoppers.
Driving consumers in-store
Away from the challenges and opportunities presented by showrooming practices, running targeted promotions through mobile channels has emerged as a key driver of in-store sales for British retailers. A fifth of UK consumers have downloaded a retail app (20 per cent), while a similar number have redeemed a money saving voucher through their phone when shopping in-store (17 per cent). In terms of using mobiles as a marketing platform, again the UK is further ahead than other European territories. Just three per cent of French shoppers have ever used a mobile voucher, rising to just four per cent in Netherlands and 10 per cent in Germany.
Max Jennings, co-founder of VoucherCodes.co.uk comments: “With vast swathes of the general public smartphone equipped and smart shopping technology widely available to retailers, the conditions are right for a period of significant growth in m-commerce. Mobile has long being touted as a real game changer for the retail sector, but slower than expected adoption by consumers has been a real source of frustration for the industry. This research show just how ingrained mobile has become within the purchase cycle for UK consumers, whether for research or transactional purposes, and highlights the huge opportunity this presents for retailers.
“The UK has traditionally been ahead of curve when it comes to e-commerce and it’s good to see the same can be said for mobile retailing. While the UK is at the beginning of its m-commerce journey, compared to our European counterparts, the impact of mobile on UK retail landscape has been dramatic and highlights the potential for growth on the continent.”
Notes to editors:
* Research undertaken by Ipsos Public Affairs between 10 – 24 June 2013 across 10,009 adults in 11 countries.