December 21, 2017
In the U.S., smartphones have long dominated tablets as the online shopping mobile device of choice. During the current holiday season, for example, U.S. consumers have spent more than twice as much on smartphones as they have on tablets ($20.1 billion on smartphones vs. only $9 billion on tablets through Dec. 17, according to Adobe Digital Insights). In the U.K., however, that has not been the case until this year, according to a new report from eMarketer.
In 2017, the New York City-based research firm predicts, U.K. consumers will spend more using their smartphones than their tablets for the first time. Smartphone purchases will total nearly £18 billion ($24.1 billion) this year, accounting for 49.7 percent of all m-commerce sales compared to 49.4 percent for tablet sales. The real takeaway, though, is that no matter the device, e-commerce is taking over in the U.K., where £83.55 billion ($111.9 billion) in e-commerce sales will represent 19 percent of total retail sales.
“To put that into context, the proportion in the U.S. will be less than half of the U.K. total this year, at just 9 percent,” said Bill Fisher, senior analyst at eMarketer. “Indeed, outside of China, the U.K. is the world’s most advanced retail e-commerce market in terms of proportional sales. And despite, or perhaps because of, the current economic uncertainty in the U.K., e-commerce sales continue to post strong growth.”