New research suggests that UK shoppers will be spending £53.6bn a year using smartphones and tablets within the next decade. The number of in-store transactions conducted using mobile devices will leap from 3% in 2014 to 13.7% in 2024, according to the study, conducted by Barclays.
As The Telegraph reports, an increasing number of shops, including Asda and House of Fraser, are allowing customers to use payment apps like Paym and Zapp. But the study also found that many retailers are dragging their heels.
Less than a third of the 221 retailers surveyed had a mobile strategy or the desire to create one. More than seven in 10 felt that improving mobile services doesn’t improve sales. In fact, they feel that the ability to buy via mobile devices has benefitted online stores more than high street shops, with ‘showrooming’ – customers browsing in store and then buying elsewhere online – a common practice. Yet they don’t seem to have grasped that apps making mobile shopping easier could help build customer loyalty.
Over 36 million people in the UK have a smartphone and of those, more than a third use their phones to browse or buy products. Clothes are the most popular type of purchase, with one in five online sales being fashion-related.
According to this study, smartphones and tablets will be part of 42% of all retail sales by 2024, whether customers are buying via an app, paying using one, or using it to give their feedback post-purchase. ‘The use of technology is going to be very beneficial. I think you’ll get left behind if you don’t use it,’ Tim Hollidge from Oliver Bonas told The Telegraph. They’re now installing WiFi hotspots in stores for customer use.
It’s going to be a rough transition for some shoppers, though: 1.2% of transactions are still taking place via cheque, as if the ‘80s never ended.