A new study suggests that online impulse purchases in the UK may have increased by £1.1 billion a year as a result of the shopping convenience offered by smartphones and tablet computers.
The figures from Rackspace Hosting indicate that 48% of UK adults who use smartphones or tablets for online shopping admit they’re buying things on impulse more frequently by using their handheld devices, resulting in an average £329 extra spent per person per year.
Overall, around 17% of UK respondents said mobile devices had increased their on-the-spot ‘impulse’ purchasing. 71% of this group said the main reason was that the process was so simple and the technology so easy to use, with 27% also commenting that shopping with smartphones and tablets was a better experience than shopping in store.
32% said the main incentive behind making impulse purchases was using promotional codes to save money.
62% of respondents used their mobile devices to shop when at home, with 18% of people making purchases at work during their lunch break. Clothes were the most popular impulse buy (41% of mobile shoppers), followed by books (35%), music (32%) and takeaway food (14%).
However, 60% of consumers surveyed didn’t shop online at all using their smartphones or tablets. 84% of this group said they simply preferred to use a conventional computer, while 27% cited security fears.
Fabio Torlini, VP of Cloud at Rackspace, said “We’re a nation of bargain hunters, so tablets and smartphones make it easier than ever for consumers to keep their eyes open for great deals and snap things up wherever they are. This is good news for retailers in general of course, but our study provides some additional insight here. The retail trade still has work to do in order to convince the majority of the British public that using mobile devices to shop online is a safe, preferable and attractive alternative to logging on from their PC or visiting a store.”