M-commerce purchases are forecast to reach £4.5billion in the UK in 2012
The prediction, from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) in association with price comparison website Kelkoo, means that Britain will be by far the biggest market in Europe for mobile retail.
The increase in 2011 was more than four-fold, mobile sales having grown from £700million in 2010, to just under £3billion last year.
That put the UK well ahead of the next two biggest m-commerce markets in Europe, Germany, where the spend in 2011 was £2.7billion, and France, which racked up £1.9billion in mobile sales.
Kelkoo chief marketing officer, Chris Simpson, said: "Over the last two years, shopping on mobile phones has increased exponentially as a result of simple and secure payment systems, better functionality and increased uptake of ‘always on’ mobile devices such as iPads and tablets.
“The fact that mobile retailing in the UK has grown by a staggering 584 per cent since 2010 alone highlights how UK consumers are going beyond the PC to find the best online prices wherever they are.”
Writing on Retailgazette.co.uk, Jon Whiteaker noted: "Sluggishness to exploit mobile channels looks increasingly foolish with mobile retail becoming more popular, and though it still represents a small proportion of overall spending, the UK appears to be leading the way in this area."
Kelkoo's research also suggested that Britons would be the biggest spenders using their smartphones and other portable devices this year, splashing out an average of £192 each.