Mobile Accounts for a Third of UK Online Sales

Moss Bros enjoyed healthy mobile sales over the Christmas period

Moss Bros enjoyed healthy mobile sales over the Christmas period

A third of all UK online sales are now made on a mobile device, according to the latest results from the IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking study for (Q4 2013/14).

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.”

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MWC Spotlight: Creoir’s Ibis Smartwatch

Ibis&Ava iPad resoWearable devices have got something of a design problem. Speaking at the Wearables World event at MWC, Myriam Joire, product evangelist at smartwatch maker Pebble, acknowledged that most wearables are “butt ugly” – clunky grey computers strapped to various parts of the user’s body.

With that in mind, we met up with Creoir, on the Finnish national stand at MWC, to take a look at its “design-led” Ibis smartwatch prototype which debuted at the show.

“Most wearable launches we’ve seen have been leaning heavily on the technology,” says Creoir CEO and co-founder Pekka Väyrynen. “But I think once you are wearing a device which is visible, like a smartwatch, it has to reflect your personality. I would argue that, for example, the Samsung Galaxy Gear doesn’t do that. It serves the purpose, but it doesn’t look nice – it looks unfinished.”

The Ibis prototype consists of two parts. The first, running on a separate screen, is a demo of the device’s UI, which pairs with an iOS or Android smartphone. There is an input element – most notably a remote control app for media – but the watch is mostly used to display notifications of messages, calls and events. Väyrynen tells me that Creoir considered going even simpler, with an ‘ambient’ UI that used just colours, corresponding to each notification and contact.

Ibis 03 White

The focus here though is the casing which, unlike most wearables we’ve seen so far, has explicitly been designed for women. The Ibis features a physical analogue watch face as well as a touchscreen, embedded into a design – inspired, Väyrynen says, by luxury Swiss watch brands – which you could actually imagine on the wrist of more fashion-conscious women.

For now, though, the Ibis is purely a showpiece. It’s not a device consumers are ever likely to be able to buy – at least not from Creoir.

The company partners with brands on a white label basis, designing and engineering devices from smartphones to cycling computers. It hasn’t found a partner for the Ibis yet, though Väyrynen says that if it got picked by a brand now, the resulting device could be out by Christmas.

And if that doesn’t happen? Creoir will just move onto the next prototype. The company releases a new concept design every month, with a sports-focused smartwatch the next in line.

Those prototypes could eventually include smart glasses Given the broad range of devices the company has worked on so far, it wouldn’t be too much of a jump. After all, Väyrynen points out, most of the luxury watch brands that it’s targeting with the Ibis are also in the eyewear business.

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Mastercard and Syniverse in Credit Card Fraud Prevention Partnership

MastercardlogoMastercard has announced a partnership with Syniverse to deliver enhanced payment security and convenience for consumers travelling abroad, by tying their payment card settings to the geolocation of their mobile devices.

The collaboration is designed to reduce payment card fraud, the majority of which takes place across borders. The two companies are currently in pilot-phase to enable payment transactions only when an opted-in cardholder’s mobile device is switched on in a certain geolocation. The first phase of the pilot program will roll out in Q2, but there are no details of participating operators.

In addition to receiving an extra layer of security over their finances, the companies say the move will mean that travelling consumers are less likely to encounter the frustrations associated with unqualified card cancellations or blocked transactions. By confirming that the location of the point-of-sale and the location of the cardholder’s mobile device are the same, financial institutions mitigate the risk of illegitimate charges and improper denials.

Speaking to Mobile Marketing, Syniverse CMO, Mary Clark, accepted that the solution relied on consumers having their phone switched on when roaming out of their home network, but said the company believed that while many people turn data roaming off when abroad, most leave their phone switched on, in which case the geolocation authentication will work. Last week, however, research released by the European Commission suggested that 28 per cent of Europeans switch off their mobiles when they travel in the EU.

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Samsung Takes the Wraps off the Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5Samsung has unveiled its latest flagship Galaxy smartphone, the S5. It adds a number of new features, including a fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor, and a feature called Download Booster which reduces download times for large files by bonding wi-fi and LTE for super-fast downloads. There’s also a 16 megapixel camera on board. For the health conscious, in addition to the heart rate monitor, there’s the S Health 3.0 app, which includes a personal fitness tracker, pedometer, diet and exercise records.

The device features a 5.1-inc Super AMOLED, 1920 x 1080 pixel screen. It is dust and water resistant to IP67, and features an Ultra Power Saving Mode that turns the display to black and white, and shuts down all unnecessary features to minimize the battery consumption. The device will be available globally through Samsung’s retail channels, e-commerce and carriers on April.

The phone goes on sale in April and comes in a variety of colours, including charcoal black, shimmery white, electric blue and copper gold. It runs Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat) and features a 2.5GHz Quad core application processor.

Operators have welcomed its launch. Patrick Chomet, director, terminals, at Vodafone Group Services, said: “The Samsung S5 is an exceptional smartphone with a stunning display, outstanding features and innovative camera. We’re looking forward to offering the S5 with our popular RED plans, giving customers a formidable combination of ultra-fast access to videos, music and apps on our 3G and 4G network.”

Gear Fit GreySamsung has also launched the Gear Fit, a curved, SuperAMOLED wearable wristband. It worls in tandem with a range of fitness tools, but also offers instant notifications from Galaxy smartphones, including incoming calls, emails, SMS, alarm, S-planner, and third party apps. Changeable straps are available in black, orange and mocha grey. The Gear Fit goes on sale in April.

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Blismedia Launches PATH Location Retargeting

BMW Mini is one of the launch partners for PATH

BMW MINI is one of the launch partners for PATH

Ad tech firm BlisMedia has launched its PATH location retargeting technology, which combines historical location behaviour with real-time location and demographic data, enabling brands to build rich audience targeting segments.

Development partners and those using PATH at launch include BMW MINI, Tesco, Boots, Fitness First and Studio Canal.
PATH uses BlisMedia’s proprietary Infinity+ platform, data analytics and location algorithms to influence future behaviour by targeting consumers based on where they have physically been, but with relevance to where they are now. By distinguishing where a consumer is versus where they have been and overlaying location context to targeting decisions, the company says, an ad can be delivered when a consumer is most likely to engage with it, improving brand engagement and performance.

PATH was developed to overcome the problem of targeting the right audience, at the right location, but at the wrong time. For example it may be too late to target a consumer with an airline ad if the user is already at the airport waiting to board the flight, but it is very useful to know that the consumer is a frequent business class traveller to target them at home or in the office.

Blis says that launch brand partners all saw impressive campaign performance, with average clickthrough rates more than 60 per cent higher than the next best performing in the industry,. Additionally, the average post click engagement and value of purchase outperformed all other elements of the campaign.

“This is a new way of looking at location data,” said Blismedia CEO and founder, Greg Isbister. “It’s not just about targeting someone at a specific location, now we can take past location behaviours into account and serve consumers ads while they are relaxing at home and likely to be more receptive to ad messages…Allowing targeting strategies to include real-time location, demographic and now past location behaviour gives brands the flexibility to be very specific and deliver campaigns in a way that will give consumers the most relevant and engaging brand experience.”

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MWC: News in Brief

Barcelona MWC Gran FiraIt’s been a manic couple of days in Barcelona; here’s a quick summary of some of the stuff not covered so far…

Rubicon Project
Rubicon Project, which operates a digital advertising real-time trading platform, has released the results of research into the global mobile advertising market conducted in January and February, 2014 among leading agency trading desks around the world.

The research reveals that whilst investment in mobile advertising represented an average of 7 per cent of total agency trading desk spend in 2013, agency buyers anticipate it will more than double to account for 16 per cent of total ad spend in 2014. In addition, 95 per cent of the buyers surveyed intend to buy, or have already bought, inventory via mobile private marketplaces in 2014.

Agency trading desk buyers expect mobile spending will be split across in-app inventory (36 per cent), mobile-optimised sites (31 per cent) and standard web formats delivered to tablet devices (33 per cent) in 2014. Standard advertising formats are most in demand followed by rich media and expandable formats, then video formats.

When asked how they buy mobile inventory, 90 per cent said they use demand side platforms (DSPs) compared with just 49 per cent of respondents when Rubicon Project surveyed the market this time last year. 38 per cent said they use ad networks (up from 30 per cent in 2013), and 36 per cent buy directly from the publisher (up from 22 per cent in 2013).

In terms of the metrics buyers use to measure mobile campaigns, cost per action (CPA) or cost per install (CPI) metrics were most popular (69 per cent), alongside clickthrough rates (CTR – also 69 per cent). However, slightly more than a quarter (26 per cent) optimise for reach. There’s an infographic depicting the findings here.

Deutsche Telekom/Telefónica Deutschland/Vodafone/MasterCard
MasterCard has announced a partnership with Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica Deutschland, Vodafone and TREVICA (a MasterCard-owned payment processing company) to create a new mobile platform and accelerate the development of mobile payments in Germany. The three mobile operators represent 80 per cent of mobile customers in Germany.

The partnership means that instead of connecting to individual mobile operators, issuing banks can now connect to TREVICA and have access to a number of mobile operators with one single integration to the TREVICA platform. The companies plan to extend the offering beyond Germany during 2014.

Jasper Wireless
Jasper Wireless, a connected devices platform that powers the mobile Internet of Things (IoT), has announced an agreement with POST Luxembourg to power IoT and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) services for both its international and local enterprise customers. POST Luxembourg is the country’s largest provider of telecommunications/ICT services.

The cloud-based Jasper Platform is designed for enterprises across all vertical sectors, from automotive to consumer electronics and from utilities to transportation and logistics. To date, over 2500 enterprises have standardized on the Jasper platform across 16 mobile operator groups worldwide. Other mobile operators using the platform include AT&T, América Móvil, NTT DOCOMO, Telefónica and VimpelCom.

Accenture/KPN
Accenture and KPN have developed a proof of concept using Google Glass and the Accenture Video Solution (AVS) for interactive television viewing, storage and control that they say has the potential to greatly enrich the TV user experience. While not yet developed as a commercial product, the companies are exploring the potential applications of wearable technologies for television viewers, and are demonstrating the proof of concept at MWC. Using KPN’s Interactive TV service, which is built on the Accenture Video Solution software platform and enables subscribers to watch TV on more devices, the companies are showing how Google Glass integrates with the AVS platform to offer hands-free, voice-controlled interaction, and seamlessly shares TV content between the main TV screen and Google Glass.

Three examples are being demonstrated. The first is Advanced Remote Control or Companion Device, which enables viewers to control TV functions like channel, program, and program preview selection, volume control, pause, and fast forward/rewind, giving viewers a single, platform-independent device to manage and control the TV directly.

The second is Second Screen, which allows viewers to access an extra layer of real-time information while watching programs. The third is TV Everywhere, which enables viewers to select a program stored on the cloud, and continue watching it on another device while away from the primary TV.

Boost Communications
Boost Communications has raised an additional £1m in funding from Norwegian state-owned venture capital fund Investinor and the private venture capital fund Norsk Innvasjonskapital (NIK), following the previous £3.7m invested between 2012 and 2013. Boost will be using the new round of investment to expand its footprint in London and Dubai.

Citrix
Citrix has launched ByteMobile Insight, a big data analytics solution designed to provide immediate, actionable intelligence for mobile operator monetization, marketing and customer care organizations. Citrix said the solution enables users to create new revenue streams, improve marketing effectiveness and increase subscriber loyalty. ByteMobile Insight is available for immediate deployment.

ByteMobile Insight collects and enriches usage, location and CRM data from a variety of sources, including ByteMobile platforms deployed in the mobile core network. Actionable intelligence is delivered to any operator organization via an interactive user interface as ready-to-use reports or via API or file extracts. The solution is designed to operate on a stand-alone basis or integrated with other big data architecture elements. Citrix is demoing ByteMobile Insight at MWC in Hall 5, stand 5A21.

Point/Handelsbanken
Point and Handelsbanken have teamed up to launch a mobile payment managed services solution for micro merchants and other small businesses in Sweden that want to use smartphones and tablets to conduct transactions. Point is providing parent company VeriFone’s EMV-compatible PAYware Mobile devices and managed services including software support, deployment and helpdesk. Handelsbanken, a Nordic bank with a regional branch network encompassing the UK, Denmark, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands, is using the Point solution to deliver a branded mobile payment service.

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MWC Spotlight: Blackphone’s ‘Optimised for Privacy’ Smartphone

BlackphoneIt’s clear that user privacy is firmly on the agenda for 2014. The year is barely two months old, and we’ve already seen a scandal around leaky apps, Facebook dropping two mobile measurement partners due to data concerns, and a Microsoft survey identifying privacy as the single biggest global tech concern.

Data collection is deeply entrenched into the business of mobile marketing, and user data is highly valuable to everyone from manufacturers to advertisers, telcos to developers. But SGP – a joint venture between Geeksphone, manufacturer of the first Firefox OS handset, and Silent Circle, which specialises in encrypted communications – is hoping to change all that with Blackphone, its ‘optimised for privacy’ smartphone unveiled this week at MWC.

“We want to move away from commercial practice of monetising user activity data”, says managing director Toby Weir-Jones. “We see privacy as a premium valued feature.”

The Blackphone – due to go on sale in June, at a global pricepoint of $629 (£518) plus shipping and tax – offers encrypted voice calls, messaging and file transfer, and can’t be tracked by Bluetooth devices like Apple’s iBeacon.

Javier Agüera, COO & co-founder of Geeksphone, describes it as “the phone no one has dared to make yet”.

What’s inside
Based on the specs that have been released so far – 2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB of storage – the hardware is respectable but not particularly special. There’s no proprietary tech involved, although Blackphone argues this is a strength, as it “improves interoperability” with other Android devices.

The key to Blackphone, though, is the software. Buying a handset also gets you a set of two-year subscriptions – Silent Circle, 5GB of secure cloud storage, and 1GB of private internet access per month from Disconnect – plus three one-year ‘friends and family’ passes, meaning Blackphone will be able to communicate securely with selected users of standard Android and iOS devices.

According to Weir-Jones, the package is worth more than $1,500 in total. But what happen after two years, once those subscriptions expire?

Well, you could start paying the monthly fees. Or, as Weir-Jones points out: “Statistically speaking, you’ll be in the market for a new handset. And we will of course be happy to oblige.”

The device will be sold unlocked, though Dutch telco KPN Mobile has signed up as a launch partner, and will be selling the phone through its stores.

“Privacy of telecommunications is a basic right,” says Jaya Baloo, chief information security officer at KPN. “It’s not about having something to hide, it’s about determining how much you want to share. Blackphone is putting that power back in your hands.”

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MWC: Fujitsu Demos Haptic Tablet That Enables User to Feel Texture

Fujitsu hapticFujitsu is showing off a prototype tablet that uses haptic feedback technology to convey texture about the image the user is interacting with on screen.

While many are testing and even rolling out devices with haptic, including Samsung’s newly announced Gear Fit fitness band, Fujitsu says it is the first to use ultrasonic vibrations to vary the friction between the display and the user’s finger.

Reducing friction by creating a high-pressure layer of air between the screen’s surface and the user’s finger gives a floating effect –  or the sensation of slipperiness. Rapidly cycling between high and low friction in response to touch can create an illusion of bumpiness.

Although the technology requires a significant amount of energy, which could kill the device’s battery, Fujitsu says it has developed a technology that induces vibrations efficiently at mobile device sizes. The company believes that the saturated mobile market will start to move towards experiences that ‘appeal to our senses and emotions’, rather than device specs.

Wearable enterprise solution

Fujitsu has also unveiled an NFC-enabled glove that works with a smart headset for people who can’t use their normal device at work. Pitched as a solution for people working in factories or on building sites, when the user touches an NFC tag on something they’re working with, relevant information is provided on the head-up display.

The glove will launch in 2015.

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MWC: Unilever Activates Emerging Market Mass Messaging Tool

unilever-logoUnilever has switched on the Konnect marketing platform, enabling it to create mass mobile campaigns targeting opted in users in emerging markets.

The platform has been built by Brandtone, in which Unilever is a significant shareholder, and offers SMS for targeting feature phone users and rich media campaigns for people who own smartphones. It uses a value-exchange model, offering the audience access to incentives like rich digital content or mobile airtime.

Unilever’s first campaign for the Sunlight soap brand targets users in India. Rahul Welde, VP media at Unilever, said: “We are delighted to be the first users of Konnect and to be launching in India. We are also eagerly expanding the Brandtone partnership into China and Indonesia which will further fuel our engagement with consumers.”

Brandtone specialises in marketing in emerging markets and currently covers 10: India, Indonesia, China, Hispanics in the US, South Africa, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, Russia and Turkey. Marketers can easily create these types of campaigns from a laptop and even a mobile device.

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Capito Systems Wins the Barca Starta 2014

(L-R) Warranty Vault duo, Tony from Capito and TagPoint's Jess Stevens

(L-R) Warranty Vault duo, Tony from Capito and TagPoint’s Jess Stevens

We’re very pleased to announce that Capito Systems, the voice-controlled mCommerce solution, has won the Barca Starta 2014.

Tony Ballardie, CEO, presented on behalf of his company and wowed the judges with his demo of how easily you can put ‘a tenner on Liverpool to win’ after just one tap.

Capito seeks to beat basket abandonment, particularly high on mobile when there are too many steps for users inputting information. The company has very recently done a major deal with an as yet unnamed betting client, but Ballardie assured the judges that the voice control SDK could be used in any mCommerce situation.

Highly commended companies were The Netherlands’ Warranty Vault, a cloud-based platform to solve consumer and manufacturer product headaches, and the UK’s loyalty and CRM company TagPoints.

All of the shortlisted companies did an excellent job, particularly those where English was not their first language. Thanks for coming and best of luck in the future to: Adzuki Mobile,
Alleantia, INDELEBILE, Sighter, TagPoints and Talkie.

Also many thanks again to our judges: Joe Braidwood from Swiftkey, Aidan Quilligan from Accenture and John Occhipinti from Relay Ventures.

We look forward to hosting a similar event next year at MWC!

Adzuki Mobile 
Alleantia
Capito Systems
Grabyo
INDELEBILE
Kolobee
Sighter
TagPoints
Talkie
Warranty Vault

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