Accountancy firm Deloitte has predicted that smartphones will influence £3.2bn of retail sales this Christmas, as consumers increasingly use their devices to research prices and engage with friends and family via social media.
Deloitte expects that smartphones will “influence” 10 per cent of retail purchases in stores in December, as growth online continues to outstrip its forecast of a modest 1 per cent rise in total retail sales over the festive period.
Deloitte forecasts that consumers will make £330m of festive purchases directly on their smartphones this year and a further £500m via tablet devices.
But this figure pales in comparison with the £3.2bn of sales that smartphones will influence this Christmas, as consumers use the devices to research prices, store Christmas shopping lists and engage with friends or family via social media.
This year has seen high street stalwarts, including Game Group, JJB Sports and Comet, collapse into administration, but Deloitte forecasts a 1 per cent spike in total Christmas retail sales, in line with other surveys.
Ian Geddes, the UK head of retail at Deloitte, said there are “more reasons to be optimistic than pessimistic this Christmas”. He added: “Consumer confidence has gradually improved over the course of the year and despite the recent increase in inflation, it is much lower than it was 12 months ago easing the pressure on households.”
• Smartphones will influence up to 10% of in store retail sales this Christmas, which equates to a huge £3.2bn of sales
• Consumers will make £330m of festive purchases directly on their smartphones this year
• Shoppers will spend £500m via tablet devices this Christmas
• Although 10 per cent of sales in stores will be influenced by smartphones in December, by 2016 this will increase to 18 per cent for the full year, equivalent to £43bn of sales
Colin Jeffrey, the head of multichannel retail at Deloitte, added: “The strongest growth will be found online, with purchases completed on mobile phones double or even triple that of last year. It is also going to be a click-and-collect Christmas with those retailers who have invested in this service set to do well as these customers spend more and collections drive footfall into stores.”
Deloitte forecasts that although 10 per cent of sales in stores will be influenced by smartphones in December, by 2016 this to rocket to 18 per cent for the full year, equivalent to £43bn of sales.”
Mark Haviland, MD, Rakuten LinkShare, commented: “Deloitte’s prediction that £330m of festive purchases will be made directly on smartphones this Christmas and a further £500m via tablets is great news for retailers that have developed a strong mobile offering. However, the m-commerce industry is not just about conversion – sales completed from a mobile or tablet – it’s about the full purchase journey. It’s great to see the industry is grasping this, with Deloitte predicting that £3.2 billion of sales will be influenced by smartphones this Christmas.
“The ways in which smartphones and tablets can influence a consumer’s decision to make a purchase are incredibly varied, ranging from innovative location-based services that link the online and offline world, to lifestyle sites that drive interest through dynamic content. By working with a CPA network (cost per acquisition), brands and retailers can ensure their content is reaching the right consumers, on the right device, at the right time. On top of this, tracking which of these actions result in a purchase is key, whether the final purchase is made in-store, online or on mobile. The days when online and in-store are competing against each other for sales should be considered over, as brands look to engage the multi-channel consumer.”