4G encourages mobile shopping

5 May 2014
LONDON: The increasing adoption of high-speed 4G technology in the UK, and the higher levels of engagement the technology has encouraged among users, is set to lead to more consumers shopping and browsing on the move.

According to a survey of 2,000 British consumers from eDigitalResearch and IMRG, the e-retail industry body, 4G users are already more likely to buy more items from their smartphones than users of previous generations of mobile technology.

Over two-thirds (68%) of 4G users said that faster access to the internet encouraged them to make more purchases via their smartphones and over half (54%) have shopped online compared to only 32% of non-4G smartphone users.

4G technology also encouraged users to research and browse to a greater extent, the survey found, with over two-thirds (70%) using their mobile devices to browse online compared to under half (48%) of non-4G users.

Furthermore, just under one-third (31%) of all respondents said they believed 4G had more advantages than disadvantages, which rose to over two-thirds (69%) among those who had used the technology before.

"These results demonstrate that the technology is likely to have a real impact on our shopping and browsing habits as UK networks charge ahead with their planned roll out to more locations and more users," said Derek Eccleston, commercial director at eDigitalResearch.

"Mobile is likely to become even more pivotal for retailers with more of us shopping and browsing from our smartphones, both inside the home and out and about," he added.

In other findings from the report noted by Essential Retail, over three-quarters (77%) of 4G users have accessed the internet from their devices when shopping, compared to 53% of 3G smartphone users.

Also, nearly two-thirds (62%) of 4G users have used a barcode scanner to check if they can find a cheaper product elsewhere, compared to just 20% of 3G users.

With a third of UK e-retail sales now coming via smartphones and tablets, Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, concluded that mobile has become "an integral part of the online shopping journey" and forecast that the trend will continue in future.

Data sourced from eDigitalResearch, Essential Retail; additional content by Warc staff
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