Retailers set to take mobile payments in 13.7pc of transactions in the next decade, research suggests
Mobile devices will be used to pay almost £1 in every £7 spent in British shops within the next decade, despite many retailers’ reluctance to invest in the technology, according to new research.
Britons are set to spend £53.6bn a year via smartphones and tablets in 10 years’ time, compared to £9.7bn in the past year, a Barclays study predicts. Mobile devices will be used in 13.7pc of retail sales – up from just 3pc last year.
These gadgets are expected to play a role in 42pc of all retail sales by 2024, at every stage from browsing products to paying at the tills, with an app to register complaints.
However, less than a third of the 221 retailers polled said they had a clear plan to invest in mobile. More than seven in 10 retailers said that mobile services do not help to generate new sales, reflecting the rise of customer “showrooming”, or browsing on the high street before buying the product elsewhere on the internet.
“There’s some theatre about retail and it’s a social occasion too. Some of these mobile features will bring back that theatre,” said Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays. “I think show-rooming will continue, but it’s part of a retailer’s marketing – when you have a physical high street store, internet sales do increase because people see and think about the brand.”
Smartphone ownership has rocketed in recent years, from 14pc of Britons in 2009 to 61pc last year, Ofcom figures show. More than a third of users browse or shop through their phone, according to the poll conducted by Conlumino for Barclays.
One in five people bought clothes via a mobile device in the last year, making fashion the most popular type of mobile shopping. The biggest barriers to shopping on mobile gadgets were security, difficulty using the site and a limited range of products, according to the poll conducted by Conlumino for Barclays.
“The use of technology is going to be very beneficial. I think you’ll get left behind if you don’t use it,” said Tim Hollidge, chief operating officer of the retailer Oliver Bonas. The company is spending a six-figure sum on Wi-fi hotspots for customers and tablets for use in stores, which will be rolled out in the coming months.
“Nobody’s quite sure how it’s going to pan out, which one’s going to be the winner, which is why there is maybe some hesitancy out there,” he added.
Meanwhile, data from the Halifax out on Monday shows that debit cards are used for 56.7pc of all current account transactions, extending their lead on all other forms of payment. Cash withdrawals fell last year from 17.9pc to just 16.6pc of all customer transactions.
Cheques now make up 1.2pc of all current account transactions, down from 1.5pc in 2013.
This article was written by Marion Dakers from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.