M-Retail: UK Consumers’ Mobile Retail Spending to Double Over Christmas 2013

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By Shane Croucher | December 9, 2013 9:21 PM EST

M-retail is on the march with consumers set to spend double through smartphones and tablets in Christmas 2013 than they did in 2012 (Reuters)

Christmas shoppers will spend twice as much through mobile devices in 2013 than they did in the festive period a year before.

UK consumers will shell out £2.9bn through tablets and smartphones during the 2013 festive season compared with £1.45bn in 2012, according to research by e-retail industry group IMRG and consultancy firm Capgemini.

This will be split as 80% on tablets and 20% on smartphones, said the research, as consumers increasingly embrace the web as part of their shopping experience.

"If we thought that the first decade of the 21st century had turned the world of retail upside down, the second decade is likely to feel that we are inside a tumble dryer," said Chris Webster, vice-president and head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini.

"The growth of m-retail, driven first by tablet devices but now increasingly by smartphones, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mobile adoption.

"The use of smartphones to deliver truly personal, relevant customer experiences which reflect the location and context of what we, the customer, are doing will completely change how we interact with retailers. We had better hang on to our smartphones as it is going to be a bumpy ride."

Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, said mobile devices had "fundamentally altered the way that customers engage with brands".

"The nature of these devices means that there is a wide range of potential engagement contexts, but the major shift really has been toward a uniquely leisurely browsing type of behaviour in front of the TV," said Spooner.

"The fact that m-retail spend is double that recorded in December 2012 demonstrates just how much this approach to shopping has taken hold this year."

Cyber Monday, the UK's biggest day of the year for online shopping, broke records in 2013.

Falling on the first Monday in December, British consumers spent a total 15.3 million hours buying goods online on 2013's Cyber Monday.

They made 115 million visits to retail websites, spending an average of £81.17 each and helping to drive sales up by 31.6% compared to the same Monday in 2012.

Purchases made on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets were up 94% compared on the year, representing a third of all online Cyber Monday purchases, according to data from IBM.

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