Consumer mobile spending to top £53 billion a year by 2024

Consumers are set to spend £53.6 billion a year using their smartphones and tablets by 2024, compared with the £9.7 billion spent today, according to new research by Barclays.

The influence of mobile on spending is expected to double the current figure to £18.4 billion today and £112 billion in 2024 respectively over the same period.

By 2024, nearly half (42 per cent) of all retail sales will involve a mobile device in some way or another, making mobile the fastest growing retail segment. This comes as consumers are targeted with location specific in-store marketing, initiatives such as augmented reality, and convenient click and collect services.

Almost as many consumers use their mobile devices on the move as they do at home (75 per cent vs. 84 per cent), so the accessibility of mobile internet when shopping on mobile devices has become a big issue for customers.

Signal problems is the number one issue with mobile in general for 47 per cent of consumers, while 40 per cent point to connections problems with accessing mobile internet once they have coverage.

Unsurprisingly then, when consumers were asked, 57 per cent suggested that all shops should offer free Wi-Fi, with a further 42 per cent saying they are always on the lookout for free Wi-Fi hotspots when out and about.

Currently though, only 14 per cent of retailers offer in-store Wi-Fi and only seven per cent more plan to invest in it in the future.

Moreover, less than three per cent of retailers believe their business is at the cutting-edge when it comes to being mobile ready and a further 70 per cent said they did not currently offer a mobile website or a mobile app for consumers.

Retailers claim their reluctance to invest is because they feel that rather than generating new sales, mobile has simply shifted sales around. They are also concerned that mobile adds substantially to the cost of doing business online.

Despite much lower ownership rates, tablet owners were more than twice as likely to make a purchase using that device than smartphone owners were. (43 per cent vs. 19 per cent).

With smartphone and tablet device ownership continually rising, it is no surprise that almost half (46 per cent) of retailers claim that at least some of their sales are already generated through a mobile device.