Christmas is coming and while the goose may be getting fat, the traditional British holiday markets may see fewer customers as the UK retail association IMRG is forecasting that Christmas shopping on mobile devices will increase 15 percent from last year. According to IMRG, consumers are expected to spend around £920 million, or nearly $1.5 billion, in the first two weeks of December alone.
The figure represents around 20 percent of the £4.6 billion (US$7.3 billion) and is the result of acceleration in mobile retail sales as British consumers have become increasingly comfortable internet browsing and shopping with smartphones and other devices.
Olivier Ropars, senior director of mobile at eBay says, “The high street as we knew it, where the ‘showroom’ inside the four walls of the store was the centre of our shopping experience, has transformed forever. Consumers now carry a global store in their pocket allowing them to shop anytime, anywhere.”
The growth of mobile and online shopping is well documented, particularly in well-established payment markets like Europe and the its continued growth is expected in the near future. While high street vendors might bemoan mobile shopping, retailers have to adapt to this fast growing consumer preference. This notion is reinforced by Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG:
“While it is still common for consumers to browse the shops at weekends before making the final purchase online at Monday lunchtime, we are increasingly seeing the popularity of ‘second-screening’, where people browse on their mobile devices in front of the TV. Our recent research with eDigitalResearch found 80% of smartphone and tablet owners use their devices in this way, so we can expect to see that 20% share continue to grow in 2013.”
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