One third of all UK online sales were made using a mobile device in the last quarter of 2013.
From November 2013 to January 2014 mRetail accounted for 32% of online sales, up from 27% the previous quarter.
Visits to retail websites via mobile devices also increased accounting for 45% of traffic.
The latest results from the IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking broke down this 32% figure into 26% was via a tablet, but only 6% of those sales were conducted via a smartphone, demonstrating that customers are far less comfortable at purchasing online on the smaller screen.
Online clothing retailers are experiencing the highest mobile commerce penetration rate with 36% of sales completed via mobile, additionally over half of visits to clothing websites now come from mobile devices
Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, said: “With an estimated 12 million tablet devices sold in the UK alone last year, and 70% of UK consumers now owning a smartphone, it is not surprising that the penetration of mobile commerce has reached a third of the UK online retail market. In fact, the latest Quarterly Benchmarking results reveal the penetration of m-retail has surged 2,000% in just three years.
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“Consumer confidence in mobile continues to increase and improvements in mobile optimisation and the user experience are certainly factors in this,” she said.
But Chris Webster, head of retail at Capgemini said retailers now need to overcome the consistently high basket abandonment rates as well as the high volume of returned items. “So while enormous strides have been made, opportunities to materially improve performance remain.”
Click and collect
But click and collect sales have fallen from the record high of 19% in the third quarter to 16% in quarter four.
Neil Sansom, eCommerce director at Moss Bros said that Christmas was a “mobile and click and collect sale period for Moss Bros.”
“We saw our first suit sold online on Christmas Day at 10am on a tablet, probably a present opened that day!” he said. “Mobile now is as important as the full website version and we are now optimising the customer journey on both tablet and other mobile devices.”
He said click and collect played an important part in the purchase journey as customers look for more flexibility and convenience for delivery.