mcommerce Dominating UK eCommerce Sales

Purchasing from mobile phones has become the new norm for consumers, so much so that mcommerce (mobile commerce) is set to dominate UK ecommerce retail sales in the coming months. Time to rethink your responsive website design? Possibly. But there’s much more to consider beyond that . . .

Providing the ability to pay bills, bank and even shop from the convenience of your smartphone, mcommerce has experienced explosive growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Brands need to be prepared to accommodate the demand for it or risk losing out.

In this article we will discuss:

  • UK mcommerce trends
  • A global approach to mcommerce
  • The millennial experience and how they lead the charge on trends
  • How mcommerce is evolving and what could be next

And keep these stats in mind as you go:

  • The grocery segment of eCommerce is expecting explosive growth by 2026
  • The UK is the third-largest ecommerce market in the world
  • 67% of millennials prefer to shop online.
  • Contactless payments are expected to triple by 2024

Media Industry Best Practices Guide 2020 Report

mCommerce in the UK 

With mcommerce sales in the UK projected to grow to £61.14 billion in 2020, smart phones account for £38.23 billion or half of UK retail mcommerce sales. And it’s revving up to be the number one preferred way to shop.

Isolating mobile commerce clusters, we see Black Friday, one of the UK’s major buying holidays, capturing a good bit of the conversation. An article sharing that “six in ten consumers have bought from their mobile device, while a third do so each week” stands out. Expanding to read it reveals that 40% of Gen X consumers are making purchases via mobile each week.

We also see some problem-solving information – like 45% of consumers citing problematic account sign-up as a hinderance. This is valuable intel as purchase friction is a huge consumer conversion concern:


Exploring further, although clothing and electronics are commonly thought of when smart phone purchases are mentioned, we see groceries has been gaining as well. This area is predicted to see a “robust expansion” into 2026:


Overall, with the UK expected to lead in mobile app purchases and likely surpass $23 billion (£17.8bn) in 2022, this conversation is one to watch closely regardless of vertical. But it’s not just the UK that’s  affected here, of course.

mCommerce & eCommerce Globally

There are many UK themes that overlap with the global e- and mcommerce conversation.


There’s an accelerated shift to ecommerce, with an anticipated 5.8% increase in the number of digital buyers 45 and older. And there are any number of geographical comparisons to be made that can help global brands with context for various segments. Here are some US and UK ecommerce stats to keep in mind, for example:

In the US:

  • By the year 2040, it’s estimated that 95% of all purchases will be through eCommerce.
  • 8 in 10 Americans shop online.
  • In the US, 2 in 5 consumers (41%) receive 1-2 packages from Amazon per week

In the UK:

  • 55% of UK shoppers use the internet to compare prices.
  • The UK has a global reputation for hosting ecommerce events.
  • The UK is the third-largest ecommerce market in the world

And one retailer that has held its own throughout COVID-19 and is moving boldly toward mcommerce domination is John Lewis.

Although it faced numerous store closures and shrinking sales during this pandemic, the retailer was able to experience a net gain thanks to its fortuitous partnership with grocery chain Waitrose. Online grocery has been the saving grace of many chains, and we see that goodwill extending to distinctly British John Lewis’ items:


And who are the most apt to purchase these items via mobile? Millennials.

Media Industry Best Practices Guide 2020 Report

Buying Power and Preferred Shopping

67% of millennials  prefer to shop online, it makes business sense to follow their moves….and their wallets.

Here are a few stats to keep in mind when deciding how available your brand will be via online or smartphone to this crowd:

Following this generation to discover shopping trends, all paths point to mcommerce. And Marks and Spencer is paying close attention.

Savvy and current, M&S were one of the first UK High street shops to adapt to online shopping. And now they have a mobile app that makes it more accessible to today’s culture.

Known as a “middle aged” clothing company, they recently took steps using Instagram to reach Millennials,  displaying their adaptability.


Adaptation, as M&S shows, is precisely what’s needed today and as ecommerce continues to evolve. Staying current is a company’s lifeline.

eCommerce Continues to Evolve

Evolution is happening. Today contactless payment is the way to pay and expected to triple by 2024. And mobile shopping apps are projected to generate $189 billion in revenue in 2020.

But what’s on the horizon? One way we can explore that is by looking to Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) in the ecommerce space. Jeff Bezos registers as a top KOL here, naturally:


Using our scatterplot below to discover white space, we look to items that have high social engagement and aren’t necessarily being reported on a lot (published count). This reveals conversations around the UK ecommerce market that are focused on mobile apps and Amazon’s command of it in the UK:


Perhaps an appetite exists for smaller or local stores to step into the modern app race? You may discover some good pointers in this article found using the KOL index above.


And with 15.05 Billion parcels delivered worldwide, packing and shipping is getting a workout. And we see shopping cart abandonment is high, due mostly to shipping costs.


Last Mile Delivery Ideas

35 percent of the merchants say that reducing logistics costs is the main challenge they have in providing last mile (home) delivery.

And this could be a game changer, because in our current climate, delivery is everything, of course. Tips to help retailers do better here include:

  1. Using clear, concise communication to reduce upset customers.
  2. Do not promise what your business cannot uphold. Employ new processes to give customers the best experience possible.
  3. Track data, applying metrics and key performance indicators to continuously improve. And tracking consumer sentiment is an important indicator your brand will not want to miss!

Just as shipping needs metric to improve, so does any business. Be ready with next generation AI-powered digital consumer and market intelligence to inform those next steps, from beginning to end. Reach out for a demo and we’ll show you how!

Media Industry Best Practices Guide 2020 Report

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