Barclays BankBarclays has predicted that almost half of all retail sales will be conducted on mobile by 2024.

Consumer shopping via mobile devices is predicted to be worth over £53 billion by the year 2024 – up from the £9.7 billion spent today, according to new research by Barclays.

Confidence in the UK economy has grown dramatically, which is evident in the research, as it revealed that in 2014 the value of overall retail sales reached £325 billion. This figure is set to rise at an estimated growth rate of 8.1%, which will boost retail sales figures to £351 billion within the next 5 years.

The online retail market has grown drastically in the last few years, and Robert Mead, Marketing Manager at Parcel2Go, commented: “Options such as next-day delivery, cheaper shipping prices and convenient parcel collection have made it much more accessible for consumers to buy products online.

“Due to the hectic schedules that we now lead, it is more convenient to order a product online and get it delivered straight to your door than to physically purchase the same product from the shop.”

Mobile is rapidly becoming the fastest-growing retail segment and will account for almost half of all sales by 2024, the Barclays research suggested. Businesses must ensure that their websites are set up for mobile business if they are to take advantage of this opportunity. However, 70% of the companies surveyed claimed that they did not currently have a mobile version of their site or a mobile app, and more than two-thirds (68%) revealed that they did not have a mobile strategy in place.

The pressure really is on for businesses to adapt to mobile, as Google is set to roll out a new algorithm in the next week which rewards mobile-friendly sites by ranking them higher in search results. Neglecting to keep up with the changes could result in many businesses falling behind and losing their place in the search rankings, which could have a devastating impact on digital sales.

Commenting on the growth of retail via mobile devices, Richard Lowe, Managing Director and Head of Retail & Wholesale at Barclays, said: “While it may be premature to sound the death knell for desktops and laptops, nearly half of consumers claim to be shopping far less on these devices thanks to mobile. With new gadgets and gizmos such as the Apple Watch being launched all the time, this trend will inevitably gain momentum.”

As consumers spend a greater amount through their mobile devices, the demand for efficient deliveries will inevitably increase.

Robert Mead added: “The accessibility of mobile purchases makes it crucial for businesses to stay on top of delivery demands, with options such as next and same-day delivery available for everyone, it is vital that companies meet customers’ growing expectations.”