Consumers in the UK are using their smartphones to make more entertainment purchases than any other retail category, according to new research by global retail technology provider Omnico.

Books, games and DVDs are bought by 54%, cinema tickets by 53% and gadgets and electrical by 44%. Food and drink is the least popular, with only 12% using their smartphone to buy the groceries.

These figures suggest that retailers operating in the fast-moving consumer goods space are not doing enough, in the eyes of Omnico chief technology officer, Steve Thomas.

“More shoppers are turning to their smartphones to browse and make everyday purchases.” Thomas said. “We believe that retailers need to embrace this new wave of shoppers and not leave mobile on the peripheral of their retail strategy.”

Overall, seven in 10 smartphone users shop using their mobile devices, but that is not the only contribution they make to the consumer shopping experience. They are also widely used to research potential buys.

Half of fashion researchers make purchase

In the fashion sector, only 27% use smartphones to restock their wardrobe, however 42% will use their device for research, which might entail searching for products, comparing prices and reading reviews.

There is a similar trend in gadgets and electricals where more use smartphones to research than to actually make a purchase. Around 57% research, yet only 44% actually progress to the checkout stage.

Integration is the main area that holds much room for improvement, says Thomas, who thinks that only when the basket, loyalty scheme and marketing channels are brought together, will we see true mobile shopping take off.

“Consumers don’t see shopping on their smartphone as a siloed experienced, so why should retailers? Those that provide a seamless experience and integrate the shopper’s basket, loyalty scheme and so on are better placed to succeed in the omni-channel world,” Thomas predicted.