Press releases

iOS dominates UK mobile commerce with 11.6m iPhone users making at least one purchase a month

New research from Episerver reveals that two-thirds of iPhone owners are making regular mobile purchases, compared to less than half of Android users

Despite making up a smaller portion of the smartphone user base, iOS users constitute the majority of the mobile commerce market, according to new research from Episerver into the mobile buying habits of smartphone and tablet owners in the UK, across iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry devices.

The survey of 1,000 UK adults who own smartphones and tablets reveals that 66% of iPhone users are making purchases via mobile sites at least once a month, compared to only 47% of those with an Android smartphone. iPhone owners are also the most frequent shoppers, with one in 10 making a purchase using their mobile every single day.

Despite Android’s larger smartphone user base in the UK, 44% compared to 38% for the iPhone, iOS is still the dominant platform for shopping. Apple device users make up 46% of the 25.5 million UK consumers that make mobile site purchases on a monthly or more regular basis, compared to 38% on Android.

More tablet owners make regular purchases than smartphones users and Apple’s domination is even greater here, with iPad owners representing a higher proportion of the user base and also being more likely to shop.  More than three quarters (76%) of iPad users making a purchase via a website on their device at least monthly, a number that drops to 54% for those using Android tablets. With iPads accounting for around 65% of the 18 million tablets in the UK, this means 6.6 million iPad users are making regular purchases using their device.

Apple’s dominance is echoed for purchases made via apps, with 54% of iPhone users buying regularly this way, versus 37% on Android. Windows users are also more regular shoppers than those on Android for both Surface tablet and Windows Phone users.

The most likely mobile spenders are those aged 25 to 34 years, with 78% in this age group making a purchase in the last six months, compared only 48% of mobile device owners aged 45 years or over.

The most common type of purchase is music, followed by books, travel, digital products (such as apps or ebooks) and apparel. The variety of purchase choices in the top five suggests that it is convenience rather than price that drives mobile purchases, as users are opting for high-value items such as train tickets, hotels and clothing alongside less expensive items.

When it comes to location, mobile does not necessarily mean ‘out and about’ as 64% of mobile device owners say ‘at home’ is the primary place where their mobile website browsing takes place, a figure that is even higher for tablet browsing at 80%.

Commenting on these findings, David Bowen, Commerce Product Manager at Episerver, stated: “While Apple remains the top choice for mobile commerce, adoption across the other platforms is increasing. Consumers are also using both tablets and smartphones to shop across apps and mobile sites, which adds complexity for retailer mobile strategies. Online retailers need to explore these trends and evolve their approach to mobile to ultimately develop a strong presence on every platform and device, with a consistent user experience.

“The overriding lesson from our study is that commerce must be increasingly omnichannel in order to meet customer demand. Consumers, particularly those in the 25 to 34 age bracket with busy lifestyles and secured incomes, are increasingly multi-device owners and expect commerce experiences to not only span those multiple devices, but to integrate with offline too.”

The results of the consumer mobile buying habits survey are included in a new Episerver report, Mobile commerce 2014: serving the omnichannel customer, which examines the consumer experiences delivered by the UK’s leading retailers across mobile sites and iOS and Android apps.

Download the report at


Figures based on 2014 research by Deloitte that estimates 72% of the UK population (of 64.1 million) owns a smartphone and UKOM/ComScore statistics stating 17.9 million own a tablet device.

The survey of 1,000 smartphone and tablet owners in the UK was conducted by OnePoll in April 2014.

For media information, please contact:
Ian McKee / Alex Warren, EML Wildfire; 020 8408 8000


About Episerver

Episerver connects ecommerce and digital marketing to help business create unique customer experiences which generates business results. Episerver's platform combines content, e-commerce and multi-channel marketing capabilities to work full-circle for businesses online, from intelligent optimisation, lead-generation through to conversion and repeat business.

Sitting at the centre of the digital marketing ecosystem, Episerver empowers online and IT professionals to create superior customer experience for more than 20,000 websites worldwide. Built on .net, and supported by a pioneering partner network of over 715 partners in over 30 countries, Episerver’s platform gives customers the ability to deliver the right content to the right person in the right format at a time that suits them. This approach means customers can maximise their investment in digital marketing and increase ROI.

The company was founded in 1994 and has offices in the United States, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, The Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, Spain, UAE and the United Kingdom. 

About Optimizely (Episerver)

At Optimizely (Episerver), we're on a mission to help people unlock their digital potential. With our leading digital experience platform (DXP), we equip teams with the tools and insights they need to create and optimize in new and novel ways. Now, companies can operate with data-driven confidence to create hyper-personalized experiences. Building sophisticated solutions has never been simpler. Optimizely’s 900+ partners and 1100+ employees in offices around the globe are proud to help more than 9,000 brands, including Toyota, Santander, eBay, KLM and Mazda, enrich their customer lifetime value, increase revenue and grow their brands. Learn more at

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Media Contacts:

Rachel Teitt Gill
Director of Corporate Communications, Optimizely
+1 740-815-1588

Lucas Strombeck
Sr. Public Relations Manager, Walker Sands
+1 312-561-2485