Path to Purchase Starts and Ends on Smartphones for UK Millennials - eMarketer

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Path to Purchase Starts and Ends on Smartphones for UK Millennials

Millennial shoppers start with their smartphones

March 17, 2015

Mcommerce was a hot topic in the UK over the holiday season, with more retail traffic and sales than ever before heading to the mobile medium. Among millennials, in particular, shopping via smartphone is becoming increasingly common.

UK Mobile Users Who Use a Mobile Device to Start Their Path to Purchase, by Age and Device, Dec 2014 (% of respondents in each group)

According to December 2014 research conducted by Global Market Insite (GMI) for the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), more UK millennials—ages 18 to 34—were likely to start and end their shopping journeys on their smartphones than any other age group. A comparatively healthy proportion of millennial mobile users (18%) said they began their path to purchase on a smartphone, more than double the proportion of 35- to 54-year-olds (7%) and streets ahead of the nominal 1% of 55- to 64-year-olds who said they did so.

When it came to completing the purchase cycle via smartphone, UK millennials were also well ahead of the curve—13% displayed this behavior, vs. just 1% of 35- to 64-year-olds.

UK Mobile Users Who Complete the Path to Purchase on Mobile Devices, by Age and Device, Dec 2014 (% of respondents in each group)

This path-to-purchase behavior is indicative of the wider uptake of smartphones among millennials in the UK. eMarketer estimates that the 18-to-24 and 25-to-34 age cohorts will have the highest smartphone penetration level out of all age groups in 2015, at 93.0% and 92.0%, respectively.

It should be noted, though, that although this smartphone shopping behavior is more pronounced among millennials, the percentages are still somewhat low. Indeed, the MMA study found that laptops/desktops remained most popular for both starting and ending the path to purchase among UK consumers generally, and likely even for millennials.

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