Smartphone spending on Amazon, eBay et al more popular than the high street

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In 2019, and for the first time ever, consumers will be as likely to use their smartphones to shop as they would using a laptop or desktop, according to new research by uSwitch. Amazingly, Smartphone spending using a smart device (58%) is now more popular than spending in shopping centres (56%) and this trend is continuing to grow.

Smartphone spending will grow to £25 billion this year, a £10 billion rise on 2018. More than 30 million Brits will use smart devices to shop this year – an increase of 12 million, or 66%, compared to 2018.

The popularity of smartphone and tablet shopping is being driven by convenience, which two thirds (66%) of shoppers say is the main draw of using a smart device. The ability to shop at any time (64%), compare prices (40%) and the superior choice available (39%) are other strong influencers, while more than a third (36%) believe online shopping represents better value.

What do consumers buy and where?

Clothes are by far the most popular product bought online (69%)[6], ahead of books (51%), groceries (47%) and theatre or cinema tickets (43%). The most popular websites used for online shopping, however, are not exclusively clothes retailers – 89% of consumers use Amazon and 63% use eBay.

For marketplace merchants this is undoubtedly good news as Amazon and eBay are by far and away the most popular shopping destinations. What it does indicate is that if you’ve not already optimised your eBay listings for mobile and in particular smartphones that 2019 is the year to do so. On Amazon, the marketplace owns the listing and they are already mobile optimised.

“For so many of us now, our smartphone is an extension of our hand and we have it with us at all times, meaning that we can shop whenever and wherever we like. Our handsets allow us to window shop all the time, and if we see something we like, it is right there at our fingertips.”
– Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert, uSwitch

Top smartphone spending websites


% of shoppers to have used site in last year

Amazon 89%
eBay 63%
Argos 41%
Tesco 35%
Marks & Spencer 25%
Asda 25%
Sainsbury’s 22%
John Lewis 20%
Currys PC World 17%
Source: uSwitch


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