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Just 47% of mobile phone owners purchase from retail stores on a weekly basis, a figure significantly down from 73% in 2010.

These figures come from a consumer study by eDigitalResearch and Portaltech Reply, so bare in mind these are third party stats canvassed from 1,011 responses, however the numbers do follow the general trend of ecommerce growth and the decline of high street sales figures.

This trend also falls in line with the rise of mobile phone ownership. According to the same study, in 2010 38% of consumers owned a smartphone. In 2013 the figure is now 62%.

Within this study, it’s the entertainment industry that has suffered the most: In 2010, 60% of mobile users bought goods in the high street. In 2013 that figure has fallen to 35%.  

Although this figure possibly has more to do with the current state of the high street, with less entertainment stores existing in the offline world now, than three years ago. 

Does this study explicitly blame mobile phone use for this decline? I think that’s implied by the stats on offer, although they do mention the detrimental effect of general online and desktop ecommerce.

This study also concentrates solely on mobile phone users, and as we read earlier, smartphone penetration is 62%. Surely these smartphone users are likely to be more technologically savvy than the 38% non-smartphone using counterparts, and are therefore more likely to source cheaper online alternatives?

There’s also the huge impact of the recession to consider. With some town centres just simply having less stores open on the high street and therefore presenting a less attractive and competitive place to shop, this drives sales towards ecommerce.

What is immediately clear though, and something that we have been trumpeting for some time now, is how existing retail stores must adapt to mobile usage, and link their physical retail stores to their online presence 

How can retail stores combat this trend?

Here’s a selection of 10 inspiring ways retails have already adapted to mobile, including the B&Q loyalty app that effectively addresses the threat of showrooming.

This is a guide on how web technology can help to save the high street, detailing a vision of the digital high street.

Then finally (‘finally’ only because I don’t wish to overload you with links here, there’s still plenty more if you want it) here’s our downloadable report on How the Internet Can Save the High Street.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 25 October, 2013 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (3)

emma friv

emma friv, Collaborators at gamesfriv2.com

This is an excellent article with well-written, interesting content

almost 3 years ago



its such an interesting topic and the content is crisp...

almost 3 years ago



Good article, one point which this report does touch on is the fact that high street retailers are not engaging with mobile phone users hence why they hardly shop on the high street. One of the innate characteristics of the mobile age is the need for something now. Ironically the high street can provide this need for things now, but it's not being exploited.

almost 3 years ago

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