The iPad boom has led to an explosion in shopping using mobile devices / Getty Images


The iPad boom has led to an explosion in shopping using mobile devices, industry figures showed today.

Online sales using smartphones and tablet computers in the UK quadrupled in 2012, up a “staggering” 304 per cent on the previous year, revealed the statistics industry body IMRG and analyst Capgemini.

Britons now spend more time on their phones shopping than making calls, said Chris Webster, head of retail and technology at Capgemini, which compiled the 2012 e-Retail Sales Index.

The index showed that consumers spent an estimated £78bn at online retail stores in 2012, up 14 per cent on the previous year. Growth in the key shopping month of December was 17.5 per cent year-on-year.

IMRG and Capgemini forecast e-retail would grow by 12 per cent in 2013 to £87bn.

Mr Webster said: “The big stand out is mobile commerce and its growth in the last 12 months has been staggering.

“Visits and sales from either a smartphone or a tablet device are nearly four times higher than last year. We are reaching a point where we are spending longer on our phones shopping than making calls.”

He predicted that retailers would use mobile devices as the “default channel” to reach consumers “whether we’re online at home, on the bus or even in store.”