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Commuting 'ideal time for shoppers'

Published 02/07/2015

Commuters are spending more travel time doing online shopping, a report has said
Commuters are spending more travel time doing online shopping, a report has said

Commuting is now one of the most popular times of day to do online shopping, with more than £9 billion being spent by those travelling to and from work, claims the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).

The Centre partnered with mobile payment firm Zapp on a report that found 'commuter commerce' accounts for £9.3 billion in mobile spending each year, with commuters in London contributing two-thirds (£5.9 billion) of the total.

According to the findings, the most popular reason for shopping while commuting is to pass the time, followed by it being the most convenient time to shop - fuelled by the increased availability of WiFi on public transport, and better mobile browsing speeds.

On average, commuters are spending £36 a week, rising to £44 in London, with the most popular items being clothes, followed by digital downloads.

Cebr managing economist Rob Harbron said: "People in Britain spend more online per head than any other nation, and it seems our love affair with online shopping now also extends to the morning rush hour.

"The data shows that commuter commerce is booming in the UK as savvy commuters use their time efficiently to make the purchases they just don't have time for normally."

However, both Cebr and Zapp concluded in their report that safer mobile payments methods are needed in order to persuade more users to shop online and boost the economy.

Zapp chief executive Peter Keenan said: ""From doing the weekly shop to buying tickets for a gig, commuters are becoming increasingly comfortable with shopping on their mobile devices wherever they are.

"But fishing out your credit or debit card and then tapping in a long sequence of numbers does not represent the ideal checkout experience on a packed train. If commuter commerce is to continue to flourish we need faster, safer mobile payment methods."

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