In the period November 2013 to January 2014, mCommerce accounted for 32 per cent of online sales – 6 per cent were via smartphones, while tablet devices were used for 26 per cent of eCommerce sales during the quarter. This compares with 27 per cent overall mRetail penetration in the previous quarter and represents 18 per cent growth between Q3 and Q4. Visits to eRetail websites via mobile devices also increased and now account for 45 per cent of traffic.
Significantly, online clothing and fashion retailers have a higher mobile commerce penetration rate, with 36 per cent of sales completed via smartphones and tablets during the fourth quarter. Mobile visits to apparel websites also reached a tipping point, with over half of traffic now coming via mobile devices.
Click and collect sales were slightly down, however. Following the record high percentage of click and collect sales recorded in Q3 when the average reached 19 per cent, this fell to 16 per cent in Q4.
“With an estimated 12m tablet devices sold in the UK alone last year, and 70 per cent 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,” said Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG. “In fact, the latest Quarterly Benchmarking results reveal the penetration of mRetail has surged 2,000 per cent in just three years. Consumer confidence in mobile continues to increase and improvements in mobile optimisation and the user experience are certainly factors in this. We expect this trend to continue throughout 2014, with visits set to surpass desktop usage over the coming months”.
Commenting on the figures, Neil Sansom, eCommerce director at Moss Bros, said: “It was definitely a mobile and click and collect Christmas and 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! 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. Click and collect also played an important part as customers look for more flexibility and convenience in delivery offers and order closer to big occasions like Christmas.”