UK has lowest High Street spend in Europe

The UK now has the lowest proportion of High Street spending in Europe, according to new research by Mastercard, with just 43 per cent of spending volume is done physically in stores, while online commerce accounts for more than half.

Of the 57 per cent of volumes spent online, almost half of this (27 per cent) is made up by spending on mobile devices, according to data from a pan-European survey conducted in November among more than 18,000 people.

The shift to online commerce correlates with Mastercard’s own spending tracker: online shopping will see the strongest sales growth of the holiday season, up 11.1 per cent year-on-year.

Janne Karppinen, head of retail at Mastercard UK, said technology will have an increasingly important role in helping retailers woo shoppers back to the High Street.

“The most successful stores are always gearing themselves around the overall shopping experience, these shops are becoming places to interact and personalise products rather than simply a place to buy things,” he stated. “We expect to see this trend to grow as smaller retailers realise they can offer something the online world can’t.”

The most popular products being purchased through mobile commerce are clothes and accessories, with just over half of British adults having bought them (55 per cent). Food and beverage is the next most popular category, with 45 per cent of UK shoppers having made a mobile purchase – the highest in Europe.

Meanwhile, 80 per cent of British shoppers have made a mobile purchase from the comfort of their sofa, but as many as six per cent have made a purchase while they are in the bath.

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