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Mobile commerce now accounts for one quarter of spending

As online shopping continues to grow, especially through mobile commerce, the UK now has the lowest proportion of high street spending in Europe.

According to new research by Mastercard, just 43% of all money spent (volume) is done physically in stores, while online commerce – in all its’ forms – accounts for more than half.

Of the 57% of volumes spent online, almost half of this (27%) is made up by mobile commerce spending, according to data from a pan-European survey of more than 18,000 people.

The UK is not the only country surveyed to see Physical POS spend drop below the 50% mark – Germany and Hungary were both at 44% while Italy and Poland were both at the 50% level.

European Mobile Commerce Study - proportion of spend across Europe

“Technology will have an increasingly important role in helping retailers woo shoppers back to the high street,” says Janne Karppinen, Head of Retail at Mastercard UK

“The most successful stores are always gearing themselves around the overall shopping experience. These shops are becoming places to interact and personalise products rather than simply a place to buy things. We expect to see this trend to grow as smaller retailers realise they can offer something the online world can’t.”

As an example of the difficulties, two-thirds of consumers will abandon mobile transactions out of principle if the process is too difficult, according to research from  Elavon.

Its study of 2,000 UK adults on their mobile shopping experience, identified that two-thirds of shoppers will abandon online transactions when the process is too difficult. Furthermore, over half (58%) surveyed reported that a poor experience would impact their decision to shop with the brand in the future.

The major sources of frustration range from being forced to repeat information (69%) to obligatory sign-up processes (54%) and limited payment options (41%).

The most popular products being purchased through mobile commerce are clothes and accessories, with just over half of British adults having bought them (55%). Food and beverage is the next most popular category, with 45% of UK shoppers having made a mobile purchase – the highest in Europe.

Products UK shoppers have purchased via mobile (percentage of population):

  • Clothing and accessories: 55%
  • Food and beverage: 45%
  • Books: 43%
  • Healthcare and beauty: 37%
  • Electronics and appliances: 36%
  • Public transport: 36%
  • Travel (hotels, flights etc): 35%
  • Tickets (concerts, theatre, cinema): 33%
  • Parking tickets: 17%

80% of British shoppers have made a mobile purchase from the comfort of their sofa, but as many as 6% have made a purchase while they are in the bath.

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