M-commerce sees exponential growth of 356%

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M-commerce sees exponential growth of 356%

Kathleen Hall

Sales via smartphones and tablets grew exponentially in June, leaping 356% compared to the same month last year, according to an IMRG Capgemini report.

The total online spend in the UK for June was £6bn, a 13% increase compared to last year.

British shoppers spent £34.9bn online in the first six months of 2012, compared with £31bn in the same period in 2011, an increase of 12.5%, found the report.

Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini said: “Mobile commerce is still the big story here, with average order values comparable to the full website, 356% year-on-year growth and retailers seeing mobile sales at circa 8% of their total digital income."

The findings echo research from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which found that mobile and tablet search volumes grew by 113% in the second quarter of 2012, compared to the same period last year. Total search volumes from overseas consumers rose by 42% in Q2 compared with the previous year, said the research.

Richard Lym, economist at the British Retail Consortium, said that while mobile searches do not translate directly into mobile sales, there is a strong correlation between the growth in both areas.

“Most retailers would agree the pace of technology is moving at a frightening pace, and they are having trouble keeping up as we move forward," he said.

“It obvious that this is not just about online, or m-commerce but about multi-channel retailing. M-commerce in retail is growing quickly, but is coming from a small base. It is growing fast, but is a small part of the pie.

NFC [near-field communication] is going to play a large role in shaping the future of m-commerce. A lot of phones aren’t yet NFC enabled, but when they are this will change the way retailers interact with consumers,” he said.

The BRC also found that tablets account for 40% of mobile/tablet searches. According to the trade association, around a fifth of all online spending is on food and drink but only 4% of total grocery spending happens online. 

“With non-food goods dominating online spending, there are huge opportunities for food retailers to expand their internet businesses and this will be a big area of competition in the coming months and years,” said Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC.


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