Phone addiction is leading to decline in high street sales

New research published by Textlocal, one of the UK's leading SMS marketing platforms, highlights how a third of respondents feel that they are dependent on their smartphones and that 80% now use their mobiles for shopping, with one in five doing so at least once a day.

The report goes on to highlight how mobile sales are growing with an estimated 59% of online sales and over two thirds of traffic to retail websites in Q4 2017/18 coming from mobile devices. Worldpay anticipate that the UK's m-commerce market will grow at an annual rate of over 21% for the next 5 years, a prediction supported by Textlocal's finding that the average person now spends over 9 hours per week browsing the internet on their mobiles.

The figures are in sharp contrast to those of the Centre of Retail Research that suggests as many as 2000 high street stores will close in 2018, including Toys R Us, Maplin and Poundworld stores. Having access to a 'high street in a handset' is leading to more sales through mobile phones and a subsequent decline in people visiting high street stores.

The report shows that currently 85% of the adult population now own a smartphone and that 35% of shoppers expect their phones to become their primary tool for purchases in coming months. Despite this, half of retail businesses have not adopted a mobile strategy.

More than a third of respondents (37%) claim to have made a purchase as a direct result of a message from a business. As well as driving sales, Textlocal's research suggests customers welcome hearing from businesses, with the most popular use of mobile messaging amongst customers being appointment reminders (85%) and delivery notifications (84%) – while many are happy to receive discounts (60%), promotions (48%) or customer satisfaction tracking (50%).

Jason Palgrave-Jones, managing director of Textlocal, comments: "Mobiles are now an intrinsic part of everyday life that provide consumers with a high street in a handset. If used correctly, they also provide an unparalleled opportunity for businesses to entice, engage and encourage customers to purchase products or services while at the same time delivering improved convenience and customer service."

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