The rise of the ‘virtual high street’

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CONSUMERS are set to spend nearly £20bn a year buying goods ‘on the go’ using mobile phones and tablets in the next 10 years.

Barclays Corporate research forecast that ‘m-commerce’ will enjoy a massive boom from £1.3bn this year to hit £19.3bn in 2021, in part due to a lack of new retail space. Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays Corporate, said: “M-commerce is still a relatively niche channel accounting for 0.5 per cent of total retail spend.

“However, with little new shop space coming into play the real growth opportunities lie on the virtual high street.” Just more than half (52 per cent) of consumers already use their mobiles at some stage in the shopping process and Barclays Corporate forecasts an increase on this.

During the next five years mobile commerce will enjoy 55 per cent growth.