NEWS23 January 2019

Commuters contribute £23bn to UK economy

FMCG Media Mobile News Retail Travel Trends UK

UK – Commuters spend around £22.8bn each year during their commutes, according to a report from media agency Kinetic, media owner Exterion and the Centre for Business and Economics Research (Cebr).

Commuting travel mobile tube_crop

According to the report, the average weekly spend of UK commuters is £89 – rising to £153 for London-based commuters.

The figures were calculated by scaling up the reported value of weekly spending from the survey data using the number of working weeks in the year and multiplying it by the number of commuters using public transport.

Almost half ( 43%) of the 1,500 commuters surveyed in the research said they made a purchase while commuting at least four times a month.

The report draws on data from a survey of 1,500 frequent commuters who own smartphones, defined as commuting to and from work, college or university at least three days a week using public transport, including minibus and coaches.

Clothing was the most popular purchase cited by respondents, with 76% of those surveyed stating they had purchased clothes in the past year, followed by health and beauty ( 71%), activities ( 69%), and grocery shopping ( 65%) purchases.

Men spend more during their commutes than women, according to the survey (£101 a week compared to £79 on average).

Spend was defined as spending during commuting via a mobile device when using public transport, including both products and services purchased via mobile while on the move.

Stuart Taylor, chief executive of Kinetic, said: "Our research shows that in today’s age of time-poor consumers, the everyday commute is fast becoming a valuable opportunity to make purchases. At a time when footfall is declining on our high streets, these findings confirm that retailers can nevertheless reach a valuable urban audience in a physical environment."