Smartphone influence on retail 'is set to soar this Christmas'

It has revolutionised the way we listen to music, take photos and exchange gossip but the smartphone is now set to also transform the nation's shopping habits this Christmas.

The accountancy firm Deloitte expects that smartphones will "influence" 10 per cent of retail purchases in stores in December, as growth online continues to outstrip its forecast of a modest 1 per cent rise in total retail sales over the festive period.

Deloitte forecasts that consumers will make £330m of festive purchases directly on their smartphones this year and a further £500m via tablet devices. But this figure pales in comparison with the £3.2bn of sales that smartphones will influence this Christmas, as consumers use the devices to research prices, store Christmas shopping lists and engage with friends or family via social media.

This year has seen high street stalwarts, including Game Group, JJB Sports and Comet, collapse into administration, but Deloitte forecasts a 1 per cent spike in total Christmas retail sales, in line with other surveys.

Ian Geddes, the UK head of retail at Deloitte, said there are "more reasons to be optimistic than pessimistic this Christmas". He added: "Consumer confidence has gradually improved over the course of the year and despite the recent increase in inflation, it is much lower than it was 12 months ago easing the pressure on households."

Deloitte's figures for smartphones illustrate how critical it is for retailers to optimise their websites for mobile devices, with it forecasting that online sales will power ahead by 17 per cent this Christmas.

Colin Jeffrey, the head of multichannel retail at Deloitte, added: "The strongest growth will be found online, with purchases completed on mobile phones double or even triple that of last year. It is also going to be a click-and-collect Christmas with those retailers who have invested in this service set to do well as these customers spend more and collections drive footfall into stores."

Deloitte forecasts that although 10 per cent of sales in stores will be influenced by smartphones in December, by 2016 this to rocket to 18 per cent for the full year, equivalent to £43bn of sales."

Separate research from accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 49 per cent of high street retailers last week were having a sale or advertising promotion – such as 3 for 2 – although this is slightly down on last year's 51 per cent at the same time.

PwC found the average price discounts being advertised last week were 36 per cent, up from the 35 per cent at the same point last year and close to the whopping 40 per cent in 2008. Mark Hudson, the retail and consumer consulting leader at PwC, said: "However, the timing of Christmas this year – with a weekend and a Monday ahead of Christmas day – means many shoppers are likely to leave it very late. The traditional game of 'chicken' between retailers and consumers will go all the way to the wire."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Foreign Exchange Dealer - OTE £40,000+

£16000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Foreign Exchange Dealer is re...

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones