Mobile rules in UK e-commerce as desktop growth flatlines

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Mobile commerce is growing

Mobile is solely responsible for driving UK e-commerce growth, with desktop-based sales remaining flat between the first and second quarters this year. Mobile accounted for the 15% growth quarter over quarter, with tablets accounting for 85% of mobile-based sales. The figures, from the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) and Capgemini indicate a faster-than-anticipated shift in consumers’ online shopping habits, with smartphones and tablets beginning to take centre stage.

“As e-commerce becomes ubiquitous, the annual growth in the Index has been slowly declining. However, similar to the impact the introduction of broadband had on the Index in 2006, the access to new technology and connectivity has supported an increase in the rate of growth once again,” says Capgemini’s retail and technology head, Chris Webster.

Tablet On Top But Smartphones Gaining

Though tablets are currently the gadget of choice for consumers looking to shop on their mobile devices, smartphone-based commerce growth is actually outpacing its larger rival, with sales climbing 210% year on year during Q2. In comparison, tablet-based commerce sales rose 130% year on year – still a sizable amount.

Consumer Comfort Climbing

The research follows a separate report from the pair of research houses, which asserts that mobile nowaccounts for nearly a quarter of all e-commerce sales in the UK as consumers become more comfortable shopping on their devices. Mobile’s growing share of actual dollars is an evolution from smartphones and tablets initially being used for browsing e-commerce sites. Figures from Millennial Media released in August claim that mobile devices have overtaken desktops for browsing shopping sites, with time spent on smartphones and tablets to browse online rocketing 385% since 2010.

Two-thirds of UK smartphone shoppers claim that they purchase goods in their home, illustrating that they are merely replacing desktops with smartphones and tablets as their primary shopping device, rather than adding to it. The UK is ahead of the US in terms of adoption, with mobile accounting for USD5bn, or 10% of the USD50bn e-commerce spend during Q2, according to figures from comScore.

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