MOBILE shopping could be worth £4.5bn to the UK economy by 2016 and more than £17.5bn by 2021, according to new research by eBay.
This represents a four-fold increase over the next five years, with consumers increasingly likely to make purchases using smartphones and tablets.
However, the online auction site says the market is “being held back by unreliable mobile broadband”.
It says an effort must be made to develop the 16 per cent of the UK in which mobile commerce under performs the average by around a fifth.
According to the survey the cost of data is customers’ biggest gripe, with coverage, reliability and speed of networks also factoring highly.
EBay is submitting the research as evidence to the Ofcom 4G consultation, which it says currently makes no considerations for mobile commerce.
Global mobile sales at eBay are set to double in 2011 to over $4bn (£2.4bn) with more than 16m people using an iPhones to place bids.
Angus McCarey, UK Retail Director for eBay UK said: “High quality and reliable mobile broadband coverage throughout the UK has to be our ambition, giving consumers choice over when and how they shop, encouraging spending, thereby benefitting online and high street retail, and giving a much needed boost to the fragile economic recovery.”