Mobile commerce hits 40% of UK online sales

Nearly half (40%) of all online sales are now completed through a tablet or smartphone, up from 32% the year before, according to new research from IMRG and Capgemini.

The figures, which measured the UK market from November 2014 to the end of January 2015, also show that one in four smart device (smartphone or tablet) commerce sales are now made through a smartphone in the UK.

“The smartphone has generally been regarded as a research tool for comparing prices and checking information primarily but that’s changing and people are now confident using smartphones to complete purchases,” says Tina Spooner, chief information office at IMRG, an industry association for online retail.

Confidence in using smartphones for buying online appears to be increasing – with 25% of total recorded smart device sales completed through smartphones and 75% through tablets over the past three months.

This compares with a split of 80% for tablets and 20% for smartphones a year earlier in Q4 2013/14.

“I don’t think it will be too long before smartphones overtake tablets as the prominent mobile shopping device,” adds Adgild Hop, retail director at IT consultancy Capgemini.

“However, the potential impact of the smartphone on the in-store shopping experience will be a key area of innovation and development in the coming months.”

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Comments
  • Pete Austin 24 Feb 2015 at 11:22 am

    This is mainly about tablet sales, because 75% of these mobile sales are on tablets. And this figure is very stable, compared to 80% a year earlier.

    Tablets are mainly laptop replacements, especially as many are WiFi only, so the true mobile percentage is much lower.

  • Savvy Marketing 24 Feb 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Not a huge surprise to see the growth in mobile. What remains frustrating (and disappointing) however is that search, taxonomy and engagement experiences continue to be wildly different across almost all retailers, on all devices. We only need to look at the fashion industry for best in class executions in digital multi device experiences. They succeed by making the most of their assets and creating a joined up experience – from the point of inspiration through to purchase which is key.

    A stat yesterday from The Bill Gates Foundation said that by 2020 80% of the world’s adults will have a smartphone, largely due to the mobile payment boom in developing nations. With that in mind, providing a seamless mobile experience is only going to become more important as shoppers shift to a more ‘always-on’ lifestyle when it comes to purchasing goods.

  • Daniel Martin 27 Feb 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I think Adgild makes a valid point here. The fact that 40% of all online sales are now completed through a tablet or smartphone shows that retailers must begin to realise the importance of delivering the same customer experience standards across a multitude of platforms and channels – including in store, and certainly including mobile.

    It can’t be ignored that the mobile device is rapidly becoming the hub of these cross-channel brand interactions; retailers must therefore understand the entire customer journey, determine how best to engage the customer at each stage of that journey and learn how to deliver a consistently good experience in order to create a mobile strategy that sits firmly within the overall business model and, as a result, delivers company-wide rather than just channel-specific revenue uplift.

    Daniel Martin, Head of Retail EMEA, Maxymiser

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