45 per cent of online sales in the UK were made on smartphones and tablets in Q3 of this year, up from 42 per cent, where the figure had stalled since the start of the year, with the release of the new iPhone 6s cited as one of the key drivers.
The figures come from the latest research by IMRG-Capgemini, who also found that visits to retail websites on mobile devices reached 63 per cent during the same period, up from 60 per cent in Q2.
The release of the iPhone 6s in September provided another boost to mobile penetration, with larger devices more suited to a range of activities including browsing and shopping. Q3 also saw a record high for click-and-collect services at multichannel retailers, with 23 per cent of online sales fulfilled using this method.
While the growth in mobile retail is good news for omnichannel retailers, developers need to remain aware of the high bounce rate recorded on mobile (35 per cent) and the high rate of checkout abandonment, which is almost 60 per cent higher than on desktops. Streamlined buying processes and clean design can help address these problems, which continue to plague mobile.
"With almost two thirds of traffic to retail websites now coming via mobile devices, it is clear that smartphones and tablets are now the preferred choice for the majority of online shoppers," said Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG. "Significantly, a tipping point was reached for apparel retailers, with smartphones and tablets now accounting for half of all eCommerce sales."
"It's great to see, this festive season, retailers thinking about the entire customer journey and offering consumers the instantaneous shopping experience they demand," said Paul Heywood, managing director and vice president of EMEA at internet performance experts Dyn.
"Shoppers will only be willing to spend their money with retailers who not only offer the best prices for products, but who also provide the best and most consistent customer experience, online, in-store and on mobile devices. Retailers need to be engaging with consumers through high quality online experiences 24/7 in order to ensure powerful, positive brand perception all year round."