LONDON: Four out of ten British smartphone owners (42%) used their mobile devices to make a purchase in 2013, spending an average of £199 each, new research has revealed.

As average spending via a mobile device was £122 in 2008, this means m-commerce in the UK has grown an impressive 63% over the past five years, the Drum reported.

The 'Agile Consumer 2013' survey from marketing agency Cheil Worldwide also found over half (55%) used their phones in-store, with 54% doing so to compare prices online, while 46% researched product information and 41% took photos for research and future reference.

Amongst the 1,000 British smartphone owners surveyed, one in six (17%) engaged in 'showrooming' – the practice of checking online for a better price elsewhere and then buying from a competitor.

Elsewhere, the survey found that shopping was the main reason for half of smartphone owners to buy their device in the first place.

Simon Hathaway, president of shopper marketing and retail operations at Cheil, predicted the amount consumers spend via their phones will grow even more in the years ahead.

"The amount we spend buying items on our phones has almost doubled in the past five years and is set to soar ever higher as it gets easier to buy online," he said.

Referring to smartphone-focused shoppers as "Agile Consumers", he said the high street is changing completely and expected "the retail experience should, and will be, everywhere, instant and personal".

Data sourced from the Drum; additional content by Warc staff