The arrival of universal 4G in Britain could boost the retail economy by around £1.8bn over a year, according to new research revealed today by eBay. The boost represents a 113% year on year uplift in mobile shopping, compared to 2012.
This huge opportunity is being driven by changing consumer behaviour, with more than half (55%) of consumers using their devices more for shopping now than this time last year. Just under a third of all UK adults now use a smartphone for some aspect of their shopping journey – be it browsing, finding inspiration, price checking or buying; while around one in ten use a smartphone for making purchases.
The study, compiled by retail analysts Conlumino, reveals that the major frustrations for UK mobile shoppers are speed (50.3%) and reliability (49.6%). The arrival of universal 4G will help to break down barriers and increase consumers’ likelihood to shop via their smartphones or tablets.
With the industry at a crossroads, eBay is calling on retailers to get their businesses 4G-ready.
Olivier Ropars, Senior Director of m-commerce, eBay Europe, commented: “Consumers today want convenience and speed. The arrival of universal 4G will bring with it a more immersive, instant and intimate shopping experience than ever before – putting the most exciting features of mobile retail as we know it into high definition. It won’t just turbo-charge the way we shop. It will truly give us the ability to shop anytime, anywhere. That means an extra £1.8bn of consumer spending up for grabs. Retailers must act now and think about the virtual shop window, to turn this huge opportunity into an exciting reality.”
Neil Saunders, Director at Conlumino, commented: “Retailers today must take every chance to engage consumers, inspiring them and giving them every possible opportunity to buy and interact with their brands. An omnichannel approach is key to making this happen and with universal 4G on the horizon, retailers can’t afford to stand still.”
Notes to editors
• As part of this work, Conlumino interviewed a UK representative sample of 2,081 consumers about their mobile habits and opinions on 4G. This, and existing data on consumer habits and mobile spend was used as a key input to the research.
• From the consumer research, the proportion of existing mobile users who say that slow connection speeds or unreliable connections have made them buy less was identified. Using this data and by profiling each individual and matching them against current mobile spending patterns for similar profiles a potential uplift per person was calculated. In essence, this is the amount they would spend if a faster, more reliable connection – like 4G - was present.
• The consumer research also identified people who currently browse, check or find products on their mobile but yet don’t buy because of low connection speeds and connection reliability. The proportion of these people who say that, if connections were better, they would buy via their mobile was calculated. Using this data and by profiling each individual and matching them against current mobile spending patterns for similar profiles we have calculated the total potential mobile spending this group represents. In essence, this is the amount they would spend if a faster, more reliable connection – like 4G - was present.
eBay mobile facts:
• One-third of all global eBay transactions are “touched” by mobile
• In 2012 4.3 million new eBay users made their first purchase on mobile
• In 2012, mobile attracted 4.3 million new users to eBay and generated $13 billion in mobile commerce volume
• The UK is eBay’s biggest mobile market in Europe, with a higher proportion of mobile sales than any other European market
• In the UK, an item is purchased every second on eBay via a mobile device
• eBay mobile applications are available in more than 190 countries and eight languages.
• eBay mobile apps have been downloaded more than 120 million times globally.
• Founded in 1999, eBay.co.uk is the UK’s largest online market place, providing a platform for more than 17m unique visitors per month to buy and sell new, unique and used items in a fun and easy way.
• eBay has around 60 million live listings on the UK site, with fixed price goods accounting for the majority (65%) of items sold globally and growing 13% YoY. • eBay.co.uk receives around as many visitors per month as London’s Oxford Street.
• Sellers of all sizes, including 190,000 registered businesses and more than 100 well-known brands and retailers use eBay.co.uk to reach the UK’s largest online shopping audience.
• eBay.co.uk is owned by eBay Inc, which has expanded to include a range of brands that help consumers find and purchase the goods they want including eBay, PayPal, Shopping.com, RedLaser, Milo and others
- Recent industry stats show that despite the opportunity, retailers in the UK are losing out on up to £4 billion a year because of poor mobile experiences (QuBit technology report) • Mobile is becoming the everyday way to sell, shop and pay
- For the first time this year, there will be more smartphones than PCs.
- Consumers use their mobile devices differently. Short bursts of time spent on smartphones are called "snacking”.
- Tablet adoption in Britain will grow from <10% to 25% this year. Longer session times on tablets, especially with multi-screening.
- $20Bn predicted mobile volume in 2013 (global)
- Today the UK is eBay’s biggest mobile market in Europe, with a higher proportion of mobile sales than any other European market
- In the UK, an item is purchased every second on eBay via a mobile device.