Mobile shopping is growing at nearly four times the rate of overall online spending in the UK according to research from PayPal and Ipsos. From 2013-2016, the UK average compound annual growth rate for mobile spend is projected at 36% vs. 10% for overall online spend.
As a percentage of UK online spending, mobile shopping is still relatively small. According to the research, smartphone shopping is accounts for on average 8% of online spending while shopping on tablets accounts for only 6%. In comparison, laptops, desktops and notebooks together account for 86%.
Despite this, mobile shopping is still significant. A third (33%) of online shoppers surveyed report buying something online via smartphone in the past 12 months, and 23% report making a purchase via tablet. The surge in smartphone commerce is being driven by young adults. In the UK 58% of smartphone shoppers interviewed were between 18-34 years old vs. 34% of total online shoppers.
In the UK, 68% of smartphone shoppers have purchased via an app and 48% via browser in the past 12 months. Among those who have used both platforms, 52% prefer to shop through an app.
In the UK, 37% of smartphone owners who had not used their smartphone to shop online in the past 12 months said that screen size prevented them from mobile shopping. This surpassed security concerns (30 per cent) or poor network connections (12%). The findings come as smartphone manufacturers shift away from 4-inch screens, towards 5-inch or larger on their latest handsets.
Top Tips for Smartphone users
Don’t bother embedding images in your listings – they don’t display well. Upload your images to eBay as gallery images (which are free nowadays) and eBay will automatically optimise them for the web and for mobile. Nothing is worse than a description with a fixed size image, so if you do feel the need to embed them in descriptions make sure you upgrade your design to be fully responsive to cater for mobile.
Offer PayPal. I know there are a ton of alternative payment methods out there, but tapping in credit card numbers on a mobile screen (even a 5″ screen) is a pain point. A simple PayPal log in (or maybe in the future Apple Pay) makes life so much easier for buyers. Personally I’ve abandoned mobile checkouts before as just too much trouble and either waited until I got home to a desktop or sometimes just purchased from a different website.