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Mobile phone and tablet spend to triple over next five years

Online spend via tablets and mobile phones is set to soar over the next five years with estimates sales will almost triple, new research suggests.

Online spend via these devices will grow from £7.9bn in 2013 to £23.1bn in 2018, according to Verdict Retail. The driving factor of the growth will be the increasing widespread use of tablets and the resulting cannibalisation of spend via laptops.

Verdict analyst Matthew Rubin said: “Cannibalisation of spend has had a major impact in market sizes as mobile phones and tablets have become more mainstream shopping devices, often replacing desktops and laptops.

He added: “Mobile phone spend has grown rapidly, though it remains relatively small, while tablet spend has grown from nothing to almost twice the size of mobile phone spend in just the two years to 2012, and that trend has continued into 2013.”

Verdict also predicted growth in spend from shoppers aged 55 and over and therefore the potential opportunity for lower priced products will boom over the next five years, particularly in clothing.

Rubin said retailers with a physical high street presence are “concerned” about the growth in ecommerce as 38% of online shoppers research goods in store before buying online.

However he added there is still a “major opportunity” to convince shoppers to make transactions in store as only 7% of mobile shoppers currently do this.

“This requires strong customer service and engagement, but with 57% of online shoppers comparing prices between websites, it is also essential that retailers with homogenous products match or come close to pureplay pricing,” Rubin said.

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