59% of UK’s digital buyers make mobile purchases

It has become commonplace in the United Kingdom to use a smartphone to buy goods and services online. This year, almost 59 percent of digital buyers in the UK, which corresponds to over 25 million people, will make online purchases using their smartphone.

According to the latest UK ecommerce forecast by eMarketer, online sales that are made via smartphones will be worth about 18.75 billion euros in 2017. This means, smartphones will account for 46.5 percent of the country’s total mcommerce sales.

UK Smartphone Buyers, 2015-2021 (millions, % change and % of digital buyers)

Last year already was a strong period for mcommerce sales via smartphones, when 45.7 percent of mobile commerce purchases happened using a mobile phone. And with mcommerce sales having increased by 66 percent, it outperformed the total ecommerce industry in the UK, which grew 18 percent during that period. For 2017, predictions are this trend will continue and mcommerce will outpace an anticipated 14.5 percent increase in overall ecommerce sales.

According to eMarketer analyst Bill Fisher, consumers in the UK are becoming ever-more comfortable using their smartphones for online purchases. “The slowly rising use of mobile payment options is adding a bit more fuel to the fire. The more comfortable people become using their smartphones for payment in a retail environment, the more likely they are to use them for retail shopping and buying more generally.”

Ecommerce in the UK: 93 billion euros in 2017

The total ecommerce market in the United Kingdom is set to exceed 93 billion euros in 2017, of which 40 billion euros will come from mobile commerce. eMarketer predicts that mcommerce will increase by 28 percent this year, followed by additional, but lessening, double-digit growth over the next four years. So by 2021, mcommerce will be worth almost 67 billion euros, while accounting for 51.7 percent of the country’s total ecommerce sales.


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