Three in five visits to retail websites now come from mobile devices, according new research which confirms that UK consumers readily turn to their smartphones or tablets when researching and buying goods and services.
The latest data from IMRG and Capgemini shows that the percentage of visits to retail sites made via smartphones and tablets reached 60% in the three months to July 2015, up from 58% in the previous three months.
Looking specifically at completed purchases, 42% of online sales were made via mobile and tablet devices — unchanged from the prior three-month period. This is the first time the rate has remained static, suggesting that sales via mobile devices may be levelling out after five years of rapid growth.
However, IMRG’s chief information officer Tina Spooner pointed out that these figures don’t tell the full story, as there has been a significant increase in sales through smartphones.
“While tablets currently account for almost three-quarters of sales through mobile devices, sales growth through smartphones is rising at around four-times the rate of that through tablets and conversion rates on both device types are increasing,” she said.
Spooner also highlighted the fact that sales of tablet devices appear to be slowing.
“It may be that the next mobile growth spurt will be purely driven by increasing consumer confidence in using smartphones for online shopping,” she concluded.
IMRG and Capgemini have been measuring the percentage of online sales completed through smartphones and tablets since 2010, when just 0.9% of online purchases were made via mobile device.
Alex Smith-Bingham, head of digital, consumer products and retail at Capgemini, described the growth in m-commerce over the past five years as “a remarkable achievement in such a short period of time” and said it reflects “the central role mobile now plays in our daily shopping journey.”
The growing role of mobiles in our daily lives is evident. Using mobiles to make payments is also a rapidly developing area, and was a hot topic at this year’s Mobile World Congress, with Samsung, Google, PayPal and Apple all announcing their plans for taking a piece of the pie. Although there are regulatory hurdles to be overcome, and reassurances required around security, recent developments in contactless payment – such as the recently announced increase of the payment limit from £20 to £30, and contactless payments being shown as more fraud-resistant than chip and pin – show we are slowly edging towards use of the mobile wallet being commonplace. Exciting times ahead for mobile, and consumers looking for that all-important “ease-of-use” factor.”
Dolf Darnton, Partner
Tags: Smart phones