For the first time, IMRG and Capgemini have been able to strip out all mobile data from overall online retail sales, revealing that since Q1 2011, whilst total online retail has averaged around 15% growth, figures excluding mobile have seen a steady decline, flat-lining in Q2 2013**. It also reveals that 23% of all online retail sales in Q2 2013 came from mobile devices.
In January, IMRG and Capgemini predicted the Index would record annual growth of 12% in 2013, however, driven by the strength of m-retail and its penetration of the UK online retail sector, they have reforecast their prediction upward to 15%.
The findings represent a significant change in consumer behaviour, as UK online shoppers migrate from desktops and laptop computers to smartphones and tablet devices. During a roundtable session on Thursday, IMRG and Capgemini presented their findings to a host of leading UK retailers and discussed possible contributing factors to the emerging trend. Those include:
- Convenience: fast and easy to shop online – one click of the button and shoppers are online and browsing. The ease of using a tablet device means that shoppers can casually browse online whilst engaged in other activity, such as watching television –typically, visits via a tablet result in a higher number of pages per visit due to the leisurely nature of the interaction.
- Confidence: shoppers are becoming increasingly confident in m-retail, particularly as retailers improve their mobile sites and user experience.
- Interestingly, whilst tablet devices account for 85% of mobile sales year-to-date, smartphones have seen a greater rate of growth, year-on-year increasing 210% compared with 130% for tablets during Q2 2013 over Q2 2012. The retailers reported that in terms of defining mobile technology, the lines are becoming increasingly blurred as tablets become smaller, smartphones are getting larger and laptops can be converted to tablet devices.