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Expansion of mobile shopping habits predicted

21 April 2015 - 09:54 by Paul Tissington

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The latest report from Barclays has found that the annual amount of money spent through m-commerce services by the year 2024 will be around £53 billion in the UK alone.

But in spite of the massive growth in the number of people who are predicted to carry out safe shopping online from their portable devices, including smartphones and tablets, a tiny number of retailers actually believe that they are keeping pace with this trend.

Just three per cent of the organisations questioned in the study said that they are leading the way in terms of m-commerce preparedness, while over two thirds admitted to missing either a dedicated smartphone app or a mobile optimised site for customers to use.

Apps are already seen as being important tools for retailers, with 33 per cent of all cash spent through smartphones and tablets now being channelled through these standalone, bite-size programs.

The disparity between the importance of m-commerce to consumers and the work that retailers are doing to meet customer needs is highlighted by the fact that just a tenth of outlets have created a mobile app.

Being able to enjoy shopping online from an app without having to worry about using a mobile site is beneficial for shoppers, because apps tend to save login and payment information, streamlining the checkout process. And for retailers, an app makes it easier to boost sales and improve customer loyalty because of the convenience offered.

With tens of billions of pounds forecast to be spent through m-commerce services each year, retailers cannot afford to neglect this part of the market. Meanwhile, consumers will continue to take the lead in determining the future of online shopping, rather than being led by platforms and practices developed by the retailers that serve them.