Mobiles overtake desktop for ecommerce traffic - IMRG


More than half (52%) of visits to UK retail sites are now coming from mobile, with over a third (36%) of UK online sales are now completed on a smartphone or tablet device, according to new research.


The data, from the IMRG, found that mobile sales rise to 40% for clothing and apparel merchants.

Of sales completed on a mobile device, smartphones account for around 18%, while tablets account for 82%, based on the data sample from the IMRG Capgemini m-Retail Sales Index.

Key findings from IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Reportshow that:

• 52% of traffic to retail websites now coming via smartphones and tablet devices

• 6.5% online sales came via smartphone, 29.5% via tablet during Q2

• Increase in visitor bounce rates – this is most likely due to the increase in mobile traffic

• Checkout abandonment rate at record low of 27%

• Mobile commerce now accounts for 36% of UK e-retail sales - rising to 40% for clothing and apparel websites

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG, said: “With over half of all e-retail traffic now coming via smartphones and tablet devices, the latest Quarterly Benchmarking results reveal a huge landmark in the growth of mobile commerce.

“Considering that as recently as 2010 mobile visits to e-retail sites accounted for less than 3% of traffic, this latest milestone represents staggering growth of 2,000% over the past 4 years. These results clearly demonstrate that retailers’ investment in mobile optimisation is encouraging consumers to adopt mobile devices as a shopping platform.”

Other key highlights from the Quarterly Benchmarking include:

• Visitor bounce rates rose to 28% in Q2, up from 25% in the previous quarter. This is most likely due to increased mobile traffic

• The checkout abandonment rate reached a record low of 27%, down from 36% in Q1
The report also revealed that the total estimated online spend during Q2 (May to July) was £24.2bn, with £8.7bn spent via smartphones and tablet devices.

Alex Smith-Bingham, Vice President, Digital Services Leader, Capgemini, said: “Whether you’re shopping on your tablet from the comfort of your couch or on your smartphone during your daily commute, mobile offers the customer unparalleled convenience. It’s no wonder then that we’ve hit such a significant milestone in a relatively short period of time.

"As retailers further develop their m-commerce platforms and as the technology becomes increasingly more sophisticated, we’ll see the role of the desktop in our day-to-day shopping cycle diminish. It will be very interesting to see just how wide the gap between mobile and traditional e-retail will become in 12 months' time.”

Industry view

Mark Lewis, Online Director at John Lewis, said: "We called John Lewis's first ever 'mobile Christmas' in 2013 and we have continued to see customers shop via this channel during the first half of this year. Today, over half of the traffic to comes from mobile and tablet devices and we've also seen an increase in the conversion rate of traffic to sales. We've placed a significant focus on developing our mobile strategy and have more enhancements planned for our app later this year. Customers want to be able to shop seamlessly across all channels and mobile is now the go-to choice alongside visiting our shops."

Gareth Jones, group retail and strategy director at Shop Direct, said: “At Shop Direct, this quarter marked the first time that mobile devices accounted for 50% of our online sales – up from 47% the previous quarter and from just 35% the same time last year. This June, we also saw smartphone creep ahead of tablet as a sales channel for the first time.

“As a device, the smartphone is the fastest growing sales channel for us, highlighting our customers’ growing confidence in transacting on their phones. Later this year, we plan to launch new transactional apps for each of our digital department store brands to capitalise on this trend and ensure we keep pace with our customers constantly changing shopping habits.”

Sean McKee, Head of E-commerce and Customer Services at Schuh comments: "At Schuh mobile surged again in Q2, with smartphone visits exceeding desktop for the first time, total mobile device traffic averaging 62% and total mobile sales now running at 50%. Smartphone is still leading the way with heavy growth in visits, noticeably improving in geographies away from London, as Summer Sale and Back to School customers become increasingly used to the added convenience.”

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