Commuters contribute £22.8bn to UK economy each year

Keiligh Baker's picture
by Keiligh Baker

A new report into British commuters’ spending habits says they spend £23billion per year via their mobile devices while on the move - and Londoners spend almost twice the national average.

A new report into commuters’ spending habits, conducted by Kinetic and Exterion Media, in partnership with the Centre for Business and Economics Research (Cebr), has revealed that the value of commuter commerce to the UK economy is £22.8 billion per year (14 per cent of annual online spending in the UK).

The report focused on commuters who use public transport, including travel via the tube, minibus and coach.

The research considered both products and services purchased via mobile devices whilst on the move, ranging from clothing to insurance. Across the UK, the average weekly spend for commuters is £89, rising to £153 a week for commuters in London.

In all regions surveyed, clothing was the most popular purchase, with 76 per cent of those surveyed saying they’d purchased clothes in the past year. This was followed closely by purchases in health and beauty (71 per cent), activities (69 per cent), and grocery shopping (65 per cent).

The research highlights the importance of out-of-home advertising for driving purchases by a captive audience.

The report revealed 70 per cent of commuters have made a purchase as a result of advertising seen on their journeys, with 23 per cent of Londoners saying outdoor advertising seen on the commute reminded them to shop.

Nigel Clarkson, chief revenue officer at Exterion Media, said: “Commuters are the lifeblood of the UK, and hugely important to the economy, businesses and advertisers; they keep our nation moving and growing, as they travel.

“Our research proves the commercial impact of the commuter economy, through the billions contributed to online retail annually.”

Earlier this month PL reported how Exterion Media and Transport for London (TfL) revealed Google, Netflix, O2, Disney and easyJet as the launch partners for their new digital ribbon screens.

The high-impact, HD screens – the first of their format in the UK – span the length of major escalator locations in King’s Cross St Pancras, Piccadilly Circus and Tottenham Court Road stations, reaching a commuter audience of 15 million every month.

The screens currently carry campaigns for Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, Netflix’s Bandersnatch, Google’s Pixel 3 mobile phone, and New Year’s campaigns for easyJet and O2, promoting their seasonal sales offers.

Research by Exterion Media and Bournemouth University last year showed them to be four-times more engaging than traditional OOH ads.

The design allows ads to seamlessly flow across the full length of the screens, offering a "stand-out" creative canvas to engage London commuters.