55 per cent of UK Smartphone Owners use Retail Sites and Apps

Woman clothes shopping fashion showroomingOver half the UKs smartphone users visited retail mobile sites or used apps in July 2014, a new report has found.

According to the research by market research firm GfK, the average user visited four retail sites in July, spending an average of 20.7 minutes browsing over the course of the month.

However, despite this high level of adoption, the digital retail market remains quite fractured, with only five sites and apps reaching more than 10 per cent of the retail audience, and 87 of the top 100 sites and apps reaching less than five per cent of users.

Digital only brands, with no physical presence on the high street, dominated the list of top site ranked by average time spent per user, with JD Williams, Littlewoods, Sammy Dress, Asos and OMG Fashion all demonstrating high engagement. Fashion was the most popular retail category, both in terms of the number of sites visited and time spent, with 29 per cent of the smartphone retail audience having visited a fashion site. In comparison, 19 per cent visited tech retail sites and apps, and 17 per cent visited supermarkets.

Overall, apps ranked poorly compared to mobile web sites, with only 17 per cent of smartphone owners using retail apps exclusively, compared to 73 per cent of finance users, and 29 per cent of travel users. Supermarkets showed the highest app use, but at nine per cent, it was still low.

“There is a massive opportunity for retailers to build loyalty and encourage return visits by encouraging customers to use their app,” said Anthony Norman, deputy managing director of GfK. “Just make sure the user experience is a fantastic one with easy navigation and importantly, a simple and clear purchase route.”