How ecommerce retailers can tap into the £22.8bn commuter market


We’ve all been there – you’re sat on a bus, or a train, stuck in the daily commute to and from work, and your mobile is the only source of amusement to while away the time.

If that sounds familiar, then you won’t be surprised to hear that ‘commuter commerce’ contributes £22.8 billion to the UK economy per year – a staggering 14 per cent of annual online spending in the UK.

According to a recent report – conducted by Out-of-Home (OOH) media agency Kinetic and OOH media owner Exterion Media, in partnership with the Centre for Business and Economics Research (Cebr) – across the UK, the typical weekly spend for commuters amounts to £89, rising to £153 a week for commuters in London. Nearly half (43 per cent) of commuters nationally said they made a purchase while commuting at least four times a month.

While these statistics reveal that the everyday commute is fast becoming a valuable time to make purchases, what it also shows is the vast opportunity that exists for ecommerce retailers to tap into a highly active market. The question is: how can online retailers capitalise on ‘commuter commerce’?

The answer surely lies in reaching the market at every possible opportunity through targeted marketing, while understanding and refining the user journey. The average daily commute in the UK is one hour per day. While this provides a reasonable window to engage with consumers, when you consider that the average website visit is just 2 minutes 17 seconds, the need to ensure customers have a seamless journey from landing on a site to point of sale is paramount. Conversion is key.

So, how does your point of sale stack up? Are you making it easier for customers – particularly those sat on a packed train, with multiple distractions – to make a purchase, whether it’s an everyday item, or a more considered transaction? Offering flexible payment options is a proven way to significantly increase conversions. Consider instalment and digital line credit, multi-tiered APR and lender checks, as well as upfront eligibility checks. The more options you provide a potential customer, the more likely they are to spend. Over the last 10 years, we have refined our retail finance technology, supported by a panel of some of the UK’s most ambitious lenders, to speed up user journeys and increase conversions. With 84 per cent of decisions being made in five seconds or less, commuters can purchase whatever they need in an instant – not tomorrow, not on the way home, if they remember, but right there and then.

‘Commuter commerce’ is a fast-moving market – if you’d like to find out more about how your online business can keep up with the pace, then contact us.


Internet Retailing: Commuters contribute £22.8bn to the UK economy per year – 14% of the total online spend

Brafton 2017 content marketing benchmark report


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