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UK m-commerce to take over desktop shopping by 2023

UK consumers are on an endless mission for convenience as mobile continues its ascent to dominance as the most popular shopping channel. Growing at a rate of 16% annually in the UK, m-commerce is set to be worth £88.1bn by 2022, according to new data from the Global Payments Report from Worldpay.

The annual Global Payments Report, found the total e-commerce market in the UK is set to grow by 40% between now and 2022 to £240bn (9% CAGR). E-wallets in particular are favoured when purchasing via mobile, currently making up 23.2% of online payments in the UK.

This is set for rapid growth driven by increased smartphone ownership, faster mobile networks and consumers continually looking for a more seamless payment experience. The predicted rise in mobile commerce is a strong vote of confidence for the security and convenience of the UK’s digital payments.

UK m-commerce and e-commerce growth rate

The report, which examines online shopping in 36 countries across five continents, found that m-commerce currently accounts for 38% of the £990 billion in global e-commerce sales, and global m-commerce is set to grow a staggering 19% over the next five years. The largest markets in the world for m-commerce are China (£0.57 trillion), US (£0.16 trillion), UK (£48.8 billion), Japan (£26.4 billion) and South Korea (£22 billion).

“The UK in particular is a highly-developed market, and with 99% of the population connected to the internet[1], e-wallets are clearly the future of mobile commerce for shoppers – but this is only the beginning,” comments Motie Bring, general manager for the UK, Global Enterprise e-commerce, at Worldpay.

“The latest innovations in device hardware, from voice recognition to facial scanning, are helping make payments more seamless and secure than ever before, prompting consumers to ditch desktop in favour of their smartphone or tablet.

To stay ahead UK merchants should invest in their own apps, building a seamless shopping and checkout experience across every device, and support the most popular payment methods.”

Here are a few guidelines for merchants to help capitalise on the global m-commerce opportunity:

  • Consider developing a branded app. We know that 71% of shoppers prefer apps over mobile browsers when shopping on their smartphone, and many say they won’t buy from a business that doesn’t have an app.[2] It’s no longer enough to just have a mobile-optimised website – if you’re not prioritising a transactional app for your brand, you’re not putting your best foot forward.
  • Make it easy and use biometrics to speed up the journey. Shoppers are becoming increasingly familiar with the concept of fingerprint scanning and facial recognition, so they do not shy away from using these methods as a form of authentication. Biometrics place payments at the back of the user’s mind, giving them a faster and friction-free experience, making the payment seem ‘invisible’.
  • Identify the most popular payment methods in each territory in which you operate. There are huge differences in payment preferences across the world, and alternative payment methods are gaining share over traditional credit and debit cards. There’s no one-size-fits-all in any region so you’ll need to understand the best options for your company.


[1] Worldpay Mobile Payment Journey 2018

[2] Worldpay Mobile Payment Journey 2018

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