Mobile commerce to surge in Europe

08 February 2012

LONDON: Mobile commerce sales are set to pass the £12bn mark in Europe's largest markets this year, a report has predicted.

Kelkoo, the online shopping search service, and the Centre for Retail Research, the insights provider, assessed trends in 13 European countries, estimating that spend across these nations would reach £12.4bn in 2012.

This is an increase from the 2011's £7.7bn and the £2bn logged in 2010.

More specifically, £4.5bn will be spent in the UK this year, a 53% increase on an annual basis. Germany will be the second largest country on this metric on £2.7bn, a 67% expansion.

Sales in France are due to hit £1.9bn in 2012, a 71% lift. Sweden followed next on £650m, and should log annual growth of 52.6%. Italy completed the top five on £530m, a 65% leap year on year.

As a weighted average, the study suggested that mobile commerce would make up 6.1% of online sales in 2012, improving on 4.3% in 2011 and 1.4% in 2010.

This share should rise to almost 8% in the UK and Sweden, and cross the 7% barrier in Spain, falling to 4.1% in Poland 4.6% in France and 5% in Denmark.

Perhaps the main driver encouraging the positive overall trend for mobile commerce is the rapidly-accelerating uptake of smartphones, currently accounting for 38% of the market, or 122.8m handsets, in the region.

Uptake rates are peaked at 46% in the UK in 2011, alongside 45% in Spain and 42% for each of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

In terms of spending per smartphone user, the UK again led the rankings on £192 in 2011, ahead of Norway's £160 and Sweden's £147, compared with only £23 in Italy and £43 in Spain.

Chris Simpson, Kelkoo's chief marketing officer, argued improving technologies at the industry level and the rising popularity both of smartphones and, latterly, tablets, all pointed to continued growth going forward.

"Over the last two years, shopping on mobile phones has increased exponentially as a result of simple and secure payment systems, better functionality and increased uptake of 'always on' mobile devices such as iPads and tablets," he said.

Data sourced from Internet Retailing/Kelkoo; additional content by Warc staff