The lack of universal 4G may stop mobile holiday shopping from achieving its full potential.
The shopping season for the holidays is just on the edge of getting started, but many believe that mcommerce will not be able to reach its full potential this year in the U.K. because the country does not have a universal 4G carrier.
Some leading analysts feel that this will hold consumers back from shopping from their smartphones.
Mcommerce analysts feel that at the current common smartphone speeds, consumers who would otherwise shop using their wireless devices will feel discouraged and hesitate to do so. The first 4G carrier in the United Kingdom, Everything Everywhere (EE), was just unveiled at the very end of October, but these services are available only to the residents of 11 major cities between the Scottish Central Belt and Southeast England.
This leaves many people without the speed they require to experience mcommerce at its best.
With only weeks before Christmas Day, many analysts feel that even among the cities where 4G has become available, it may have been too late for consumers who would otherwise have been interested in using mcommerce for their holiday purchases. In fact, some are predicting that it will lead to a loss in potential revenue of approximately £120 million during the holiday season, alone.
Clare Gilmartin, the Vice President of eBay Marketplaces Europe, has said that faulty connections and sluggish downloads are one of the top blockages in the way of sales that could occur on mcommerce platforms. Though smartphones are still expected to be a part of the shopping process among one third of the purchases this season (including everything from product research to price comparisons and actual purchases), some feel that if universal 4G was in place, and if it was established in time, the sales could increase by £493 million.
The services in question will soon be in place in the United Kingdom. It is likely that by early next year, universal 4G will have been achieved, as a result of the 4G spectrum auction, which will widen the UK carrier marketplace. Still, in terms of holiday shopping over mcommerce, it will not have arrived in time.