UK mobile shopping trends: Mobile penetration doubles in a year

03/09/2013

The percentage of online sales completed through a mobile device (smartphones and tablets) has doubled in the space of a year according to figures from IMRG and Capgemini, illustrating just how quickly the popularity of using mobile devices for online shopping has grown.

Key findings:

• Sales through mobile devices now account for 23% of online sales
• Visits through mobile devices now stand at 34%
• Mobile growth has brought higher bounce rate for retail sites
• Click & Collect sales reached record high

In Q2 of 2012 the percentage stood at 11.6%, but by Q2 of 2013 it had exactly doubled to 23.2%. Over the same period the percentage of online retail site visits through mobile devices has also shot up sharply, from 21.1% in Q2 2012 to 34% in Q3 2013.

IMRG and Capgemini have been tracking sales through mobile devices for over three years, during which time its penetration of online sales has grown by more than 2,000%, with the penetration of online retail visits via mobile devices growing by 1,100%.

The switch in device types used for internet access appears to have had a knock-on effect for bounce rates however.

At the beginning of 2010 over 97% of retail site access was through a desktop. Over the subsequent three years, as mobile device access began to grow rapidly, the bounce rate rose from 21.7% in 2010 to 23.7% in 2011, before reaching 27% in 2012. Year to date in 2013, the bounce rate is 26%.

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG: “There appears to be a correlation between the surge in mobile commerce over the past 3 years and the rise in visitor bounce rates on e-retail websites. While consumers have generally become more confident in using their mobile devices as a shopping tool, the latest data suggests they have also become more demanding.

“Higher search volumes will inevitably result in an increase in bounce rates as shoppers will often compare products and pricing across several brands. However, by offering an engaging and relevant experience for customers across all channels retailers will ultimately achieve the end goal of higher conversion rates and an increase in customer loyalty.”

There was also a significant rise in click & collect sales in Q2, reaching a record high of 16% of online sales for multichannel retailers; this represents annual growth of 33% compared with the 12% penetration recorded in Q2 last year.

Chris Webster, Vice President / Consumer Products and Retail, Capgemini: “The record high levels of online sales via mobile devices corresponds with record high rates for click and collect, which now stands at 16% of all eCommerce orders. This correlation of mobile ordering and location flexible collection is at the heart of the mobile internet and the impact it will have on consumer behaviour. Maybe we are truly entering the Martini age - anytime, anyplace, anywhere”.

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