EBay has published research that the U.K. retail economy will grow £1.8 billion within a year of the arrival of universal 4G. That calculation is based on an assumption that the faster speeds will increase mobile shopping by 113 percent.
The study took a small leap of faith. Some 2,000 U.K. shoppers were interviewed, and the slimmest of majorities (50.3 percent) said they were frustrated by speed, and a slightly smaller percent said reliability was their biggest frustration. The leap of faith lies in reasoning that to the extent 4G addresses those concerns, those shoppers will suddenly start making lots of mobile purchases. The problem with drawing that conclusion is that, consumer gripes aside, shoppers are likely to make mobile purchases when they feel the need to do so.
Consumers love to tell survey-takers precise reasons for why they do and don't behave in a certain way, but the truth is that most consumers have no idea why. That said, certainly improving the bandwidth through the U.K. wouldn't hurt, and it would reduce one current obstacle.
Olivier Ropars, senior director of m-commerce, Ebay Europe, said: "Consumers today want convenience and speed. 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. That means an extra £1.8 billion of consumer spending up for grabs. Retailers must act now and think about the virtual shop window, to turn this huge opportunity into an exciting reality."
Neil Saunders, director at Conlumino, added: "Retailers today must take every chance to engage consumers, inspiring them and giving them every possible opportunity to buy and interact with their brands. An omni-channel approach is key to making this happen and with universal 4G on the horizon, retailers can't afford to stand still."
- Retail Bulletin story about the study
- The EBay news release about the report