Mobile accounted for just over 20 per cent of UK e-retail sales in the three months ended April, up from 15.4 per cent over the previous three months, according to the latest published figures from Capgemini and IMRG.
The research and analyst firms also found that the proportion of visits to online retail sites, via mobile devices, jumped from 24 per cent in its ‘fourth quarter’ (November to January) to 30 per cent in the three months ended April.
Booming sales of smartphones and tablets over the Christmas period are naturally seen as big contributors to the surge in e-retail sales and visits.
Compared with the level of mobile retail sales a few years ago, growth looks even more impressive.
Capgemini and IMRG report that the proportion of e-retail sales via devices was a meagre 0.9 per cent during 2010, going up to 4 per cent in 2011, then shooting up to 12 per cent the following year.
The share of visits via mobile has likewise risen sharply, going from 2.6 per cent in 2010 to 8.2 per cent in 2011, then expanding to 21.3% of all e-retail visits during 2012.
“Mobile is clearly a game-changer for the UK e-retail industry, with m-retail sales increasing at more than double the levels we saw in the early 2000s when IMRG started tracking online sales,” said Tina Spooner, IMRG’s chief information officer.
“At the beginning of 2010 mobile sales accounted for just 0.4 per cent of the UK e-retail market – within three years it has surged a staggering 5,000 per cent, with m-retail now accounting for one in every five online purchases.”
Chris Webster, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini, is equally effusive: “In 2020 when we look back on the last ten years, we will undoubtedly see it as the ‘mobile decade’,” he said.
“In the first three years alone we have seen sales via mobile devices increase from nearly zero, to over 20 per cent 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.”