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Christmas rush expected in m-commerce market

05 November 2010 - 12:43 by Paul Tissington

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UK smartphone users are expected to significantly boost the sales figures recorded by retailers offering m-commerce options in the run up to Christmas 2010.

Results from a survey conducted by Populus, suggest that close to eight million consumers will head to m-commerce sites using their mobiles and then carry out safe shopping online, when they are on the commute to work or sitting on their sofas at home.

The survey found that almost three million UK consumers already shop online using their mobiles on a weekly basis, although for the time being, this involves paying for downloadable content and gig tickets.

Sixty per cent of respondents claimed that they were concerned about the security of making payments with mobile phones along with the slightly unwieldy nature of certain mobile sites, which are not entirely optimised for a smooth consumer experience.

This boom in the m-commerce market, which UK consumers seem ready to embrace, is not thought to be matched by retailer preparedness. Time-saving and convenience are the two biggest reasons consumers site for carrying out safe shopping online using their phones and almost a third use m-commerce services on their way to and from work.

Despite the eagerness for m-commerce, particularly amongst younger demographics, many remain unconvinced that retailers are actually ready to take full advantage of this boom. 70 per cent of respondents said that they would rather use PayPal when shopping on their smartphones than a payment card because of security concerns.

It seems that the smartphone technology is acting as the facilitator of m-commerce growth rather than the maturity of the retail platforms, as 50 per cent of consumers who own an advanced mobile claim that they will buy gifts using it as the festive season approaches. It now remains for the retailers to step up their game and meet the expanding demand.