1. Smartphone overtakes desktop for share of online sales
Smartphones accounted for the largest share of online sales during the fourth quarter (40.4%), overtaking desktop for the first time, which secured 39.7% of sales revenue, followed by tablet on 19.9%.
UK shoppers are also increasingly using mobile devices for accessing retail sites. In Q4, which includes the Christmas period and January, 74.3% of site visits were made through mobile devices, compared to 25.7% on desktop.
To put this into perspective, in 2015 the percentage of visits coming through smartphones and tablets versus desktop was even.
Source: IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index
2. Most marketers have a dedicated budget for testing new technology
The vast majority of marketers (87%) have a dedicated budget for testing new technology and on average 36% of company budgets are allocated to trialling new tech, with just 13% suggesting they don’t have the funds in place to test the latest innovations.
The size and resources available to a business have an impact on the budget allocated, with just 18% of small firms able to invest compared to 38% of medium-sized organisations and 37% of larger companies.
During the next five years marketers say they will be focused on discovering new ways to ‘chat’ with 36% suggesting this would be with humans, compared to 37% who say they will invest in chatbots.
3. Almost three quarters of Brits shop on Amazon once a month
Almost nine in 10 (86%) Brits shop on Amazon, and of these shoppers 21% have increased their spending over the past year, compared to 13% who spent less with the retailer.
Most (70%) of Amazon customers shop with the retailer at least once a month, compared to 17% who shop via the website on a weekly basis.
Hard copy media, such as books, DVDs and video games account for the largest chunk of purchases (39%), followed by electricals (30%), fashion and jewellery (30%) and toys (20%).
Just over half (51%) of Amazon users assume it has the cheapest prices, while 59% say they are loyal to the company. Another 70% of Amazon shoppers say it’s the first retailer they go to when shopping online.
4. Brexit uncertainty hits retail growth
Concerns around Brexit has urged shoppers to hold off spending during February, according to new figures.
Retail sales only increased by 0.5% in February, a drop from a 1.6% climb the year prior, and below the three- and 12-month averages of 0.9% and 1.2% respectively.
In February, UK retail sales decreased by 0.1% on a like-for-like basis compared to the previous year when they increased 0.6%.
During the three months to February, in-store sales of non-food items declined 2.8% on a total basis and 3.1% on a like-for-like basis, below the average 12-month decline of 2.4%.
Like-for-like food sales grew 1.3% and 2.4% on a total basis, while non-food retail sales in the UK decreased 0.6% on a like-for-like basis and 0.4% on a total basis.
However, online sales of non-food products grew 5.4% in February, compared to a rise of 6.4% the year before.
Meanwhile, the online penetration rate increased from 27.5% in February 2018 to 29.6% last month.
5. Brits think tech companies record data via phones and laptops without consent
Just under three-quarters of Brits (71%) believe companies record their data without consent via their smartphones and laptops, with 56% suggesting it’s a problem.
Only 11% don’t believe tech companies record their data.
But just four in 10 of those who own a desktop or laptop cover their webcam, with 18% doing so ‘on occasion’ compared to 21% who have their webcam blocked permanently. Another 51% say they never cover their webcam and 4% don’t know what it is.
A quarter (25%) of those who do not think tech companies do this still cover their webcam.
Some 64% of Brits adjust privacy settings on their devices to make sure they are not capturing any data they don’t want them to, like giving access to their contacts or their location. But 19% never do, and 14% don’t know what this means.
In addition, 27% of respondents say they never turn off the ‘find my location’ feature on their device. A quarter (24%) always do, and 40% do so on occasion.