There was a significant increase in mobile sales in Q1 of 2013, with 20% of UK e-retail sales coming through a mobile device (smart phones and tablets) according to figures published by IMRG and Capgemini. This is a jump from 15.4% in the previous Quarter.
Huge sales of tablets over Christmas would account for the surge in the figures. If you don’t count for actual sales the mobile figures are even greater with 1 in 3 online retail visits coming from mobile devices.
Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG explains: “Mobile is clearly a game-changer for the UK e-retail industry, with mobile-retail sales increasing at more than double the levels we saw in the early 2000s when IMRG started tracking online sales. At the beginning of 2010 mobile sales accounted for just 0.4% of the UK e-retail market – within three years it has surged a staggering 5,000%, with m-retail now accounting for one in every 5 online purchases.
“With the continuing shift away from desktop to mobile internet use, it is inevitable we will see the latter platform outstrip desktop PCs as the preferred device for shopping online, and from the latest figures it is apparent this may be sooner than expected.”
Chris Webster, VP, Head of Retail Consulting and Technology at Capgemini adds: “In 2020 when we look back on the last ten years, we will undoubtedly see it as the ‘mobile decade’. In the first three years alone we have seen sales via mobile devices increase from nearly zero, to over 20% of all e-retail sales. However, we are only scratching the surface and over the next few years we will see the technology reveal its full potential.
“The mobile device will be the aggregator of all digital services, enabling the internet to recognise who we are and to give us access to an endless list of personal features. As we access all these services digitally, tickets, boarding passes, keys, payment and loyalty cards, and even passports, will become to us what typewriters are to my children; objects of intrigue and amusement.”
Sean McKee, Head of Ecommerce and Customer Services at Schuh says: “We have continued to see mobile device participation and sales power ahead in the first quarter of 2013, and believe that this will be the last quarter where desktop traffic is still the majority player. For us at least, a key tipping point is about to be reached.”