What devices are consumers using for online shopping in 2019?

by Ed Smith, Freelance writer. 

Online shopping is slowly supplanting the high street and the supermarket as the most popular form of commerce worldwide, with 87% of retail perchance in the UK alone now made online.

Global giants such as Amazon and eBay sit shoulder to shoulder with almost every major brand on earth, vying for the attention (and the custom) of the 3.2 billion people currently using the internet. For reference - that’s around half the population of the planet!

But what devices are most consumers using to do their shopping in an age where we are perpetually surrounded by screens?

Desktop - It might seem a little old-fashioned to use a desktop computer to do your online shopping, given the raft of more immediate options available. However, it still secures just under 40% of the market share and a fraction under smartphone sales. The reasoning here is obvious - we’ve slowly but surely become more accustomed to our convenient little touchscreens, but our desktops  remain faster, more reliable and more familiar.

Tablet - There was a time, in the latter years of the decade we now refer to in hindsight as the ‘noughties’ and the first years of the decade that followed, that tablets seemed as if they were going to be the ‘next big thing’. Kickstarted by the ubiquitous iPad, however, it’s a fad that soon died out as smartphones began matching (an in some cases surpassing) the powers and capabilities of their  bigger brothers. Today, just under 20% of online shopping is done via tablet. To put that into perspective, only as recently as 2015, the share between tablet and smartphone was at an even keel.

Smartphone - Until quite recently, mobile phones were seen as little more than convenient tether to the wider world. In recent years, however, they have emerged as the beacons around which many of us live our lives. So, it’s no surprise that more of us  than ever before are choosing to do our online shopping from the comfort of our smartphones. Indeed, in 2019 it’s estimated that around 40% of all online purchases have been made via smartphone. What a smartphone offers that a desktop or even a tablet cannot is the capability to be truly omnichannel because it’s with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Trends will always come and go, but how we shop online appears to be changing for good. It’s not only retail sites that are seeing the change hit home either. It’s now possible, using services such as the TNT Smart Send eBay Courier Service, to set up delivery in seconds for a courier to collect your eBay goods and have them delivered directly to your for with the same expediency and reliability as Amazon Prime.

We have truly entered a golden age, where convenience has finally caught up with the ambitions of the online shopping world that were set in stone before the turn of the century. It’s truly a great time to be a shopper!

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