Number of smartphone-owning UK consumers skyrockets

The number of consumers in the UK with smartphones has skyrocketed from 58 per cent 10 months ago to 72 per cent today, according to research by Deloitte.

The study found that the UK is rapidly adopting mobile technology in all aspects of life, with the majority of people owning a smartphone and many of those people using it for shopping.

While 72 per cent of overall consumers have a smartphone in the UK, that figure jumps to nearly 90 per cent for those between the ages of 25-34, a bracket Deloitte says is considered the most affluent and influential in terms of retail.

57 per cent of UK consumers search for products on smartphones, while 50 per cent actually buy goods through their phone.

Generation Z consumers are more likely to shop via their smartphone than older generations, with 48 per cent shopping via apps compared to just 14 per cent of those in the 45-64 age bracket.

Mobile payment is also on the rise, with 31 per cent using an online wallet and 12 per cent using contactless payment technology. This is an area that is still in its infancy and will likely boom in the coming years.

Despite the high embrace of technology, only 21 per cent were happy to receive tailor-made communications, while 40 per cent did not mind receiving location-based search results.

“The exponential rise in UK consumer’s reliance on smartphones means mobile must become a priority for retailers. Customer experience, brand loyalty and ultimately sales will all increasingly stem from the mobile channel. This is the year that mobile moves from a project run by the IT department to a strategic priority in the boardroom,” said Ian Geddes, head of UK retail at Deloitte.