Business gets £1.8bn sales boost thanks to high-speed 4G mobile network as shopping on mobiles & tablets soars

The faster broadband service is expected to reduce the frustration caused by slow or unreliable internet access which can deter consumers from making purchases on smartphones with retail analysts suggesting that the benefits could be a 113 per cent surge in mobile shopping.

Olivier Ropars, senior director of mobile commerce at eBay Europe, which compiled the report, said: ‘Consumers today want convenience and speed and the arrival of universal 4G will bring with it a more immersive, instant and intimate shopping experience than ever before – putting the most exciting features of mobile retail as we know it into high definition. It won’t just turbo-charge the way we shop. It will truly give us the ability to shop anytime, anywhere.”

The study, conducted by the retail research agency Conlumino, revealed more than half of consumers use a smartphone or tablet when shopping more frequently than this time last year, when mobile spending totalled £1.59 billion with just under a third of UK shoppers now using their phone before making a purchase, either to browse, check prices or to buy an item.

Its analysts questioned these shoppers about how much they would spend with faster and more reliable internet access to estimate the monetary impact of 4G on the retail sector, arriving at the figure of £1.8billion.

Neil Saunders, director of Conlumino, said: ‘Retailers today must take every chance to engage consumers, inspiring them and giving them every possible opportunity to buy and interact with their brands.

Here at Business Matters we have long championed what greater 4G connectivity would do to UK retailers and business in general. Managing Editor Richard Alvin gave this interview on the support we were giving to the 4G Britain campaign ahead of the UKs first 4G licence being awarded to communications company EE.

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