UK Commuters On Track For £10bn Of Mobile Spending This Year

mobile phone train signal © Peter Bernik Shutterstock

Long train delays brings the best out of mobile shopping, Zapp survey reveals

Tedious train and bus journeys may actually be doing some good after all after a new survey revealed they are pushing British mobile shopping numbers to a new high.

A study of the shopping habits of 2,000 commuters has revealed that £9.3 billion is estimated to be spent in 2015, as they take advantage of a mind-numbing journey to splash the cash using their smartphones and tablets

This equates to a fifth of all UK online shopping sales, with the average commuter spending £36 a week, rising to £44 for those commuting to and within London, according to figures from Zapp and the Cebr (Centre for Economics and Business Research).

Pay up

mobile shoppingPerhaps unsurprisingly, giving the sheer amount of commuters, London contributed over two-thirds (£5.9 billion) of the total amount, and the morning rush saw the biggest spike in transactions, with around 1.5 million commuters estimated to be shopping then.

Clothing was found to be the most popular purchase, with almost three quarters of Brits (71 percent) commuting via public transport saying that they had bought some online during their commute on an average week.

This was followed by digital downloads (68 percent) and other entertainment media such as DVDs, CDs, and books (65 percent), although groceries (62 percent) and takeaways (60 percent) also featured highly.

The most popular reason for shopping online while commuting is ‘just to pass the time’, followed by it being the most convenient time to shop. Many busy professionals are also taking advantage of ‘click and collect’ services, which allow them to pick up their goods later.

“From doing the weekly shop to buying tickets for a gig, commuters are becoming increasingly comfortable with shopping on their mobile devices wherever they are,” said Peter Keenan, CEO of Zapp. “But fishing out your credit or debit card and then tapping in a long sequence of numbers does not represent the ideal checkout experience on a packed train. If commuter commerce is to continue to flourish we need faster, safer mobile payment methods.”

But the Cebr believes making payments quicker and safer could encourage even more people to use the technology. It estimates that such moves could persuade 730,000 people to shop online during commute for their first time, helping boost overall spending by £1.5 billion annually and tipping the national total over £10 billion.

“People in Britain spend more online per head than any other nation, and it seems our love affair with online shopping now also extends to the morning rush hour,” said Rob Harbron, managing economist.

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