Mobile users in the UK make more purchases on smartphones than users across Europe, according to a survey by TNS.
The study, which was commissioned by Google, questioned consumers in 18 countries and found that 32% of people in the UK make purchases on their smartphones, in contrast to only 8% in France, 15% in Germany and 19% in Sweden.
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“Everyone realises the penetration is increasing,” said Matt Brocklehurst, product marketing manager at Google, but what is quite interesting is the extent to which people are using their smartphones to buy.”
More than 1,000 UK consumers participated in the research, which found that smartphone use in the UK has increased by 68% in 2014, as opposed to 62% at the same time last year.
There has also been a rise in the number of purchases made online by UK consumers, from 72% in 2013 to 77% this year.
More on smartphone use
The research was conducted to highlight the importance of ensuring that a website is available on multiple platforms, since consumers are now using a variety of different devices to view web pages.
According to Brocklehurst, this increased use of multiple platforms is making responsive design more vital.
“What we find is that if people go to a site and it’s not mobile-ready, they will try a competitor's site,” he said. “Gone are the days where you used to think about the mobile being something that was used on the high street, the tablet on your sofa and the desktop for use at work. Now it’s whatever device you can get your hands on.”
Google has recently launched a website where businesses can learn the importance of having a mobile-ready site. Advice given on the site includes ensuring speed, designing the site around the key tasks that it will perform, and a focus on being touch-friendly.