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Mobiles will influence £18 billion of store sales in 2013: new study

A study has predicted that smartphones will influence £18 billion of UK store sales this year even though consumers will make only £5 billion of sales directly on mobile devices; less than a third of the value generated by mobile influenced store sales.

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Mobiles will influence £18 billion of store sales in 2013: new study

The research by business advisory firm Deloitte found that those consumers who admitted to using their smartphone before or during their shopping trip were not only more likely to make a purchase, but also to spend more money. People who use their mobile whilst shopping were found to spend 61% more compared to the average trip. In addition, shoppers who consulted their smartphone beforehand spent 14% more.

Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte, said: “The influence of mobile devices in the retail sector is rising at a rapid rate. Over 60% of UK adults aged 18 and over now own a smartphone and half of them use it to shop. Retailers need to recognise that mobile sites and apps are becoming their most important shop window.

“Those consumers using smartphones when shopping are also spending more money. The device is an effective tool for retailers to encourage customers to buy more products and upgrade to higher value items, at a time when profit margins remain under pressure. In the next few years, the value of mobile is only going to increase. The message from consumers is clear; they want to use their smartphones to shop and expect retailers to enable them to do so.”

The sectors enjoying the greatest benefit from the influence of mobile were found to include electricals and furniture, with smartphones influencing 12.9% and 10.1% of store sales respectively. Healthcare stores and pharmacies (4.7%) and clothing and footwear (7.9%) were shown to experience relatively low influence, but this is expected to increase quickly.

Ben Perkins, UK head of consumer business research at Deloitte, said: “Even those categories that do not lend themselves to direct sales via mobile must recognise that customers will be consulting their smartphone to research, compare and ultimately decide who to spend their money with. If retailers are not accessible by mobile or do not deliver the same quality of customer experience that their target market expects, they risk losing out to their mobile-savvy competitors.”

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