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Mobile Shopping Reaches “Tipping Point” in UK

Staff Writer
Jan 6th, 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 2 min read
  • Hummy's

    1Rapid increase--up to 52% from just 3% in 2010! 2No turning back now from the trend of mobile shopping. 3Smartphone is the fastest growing sales channel.
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Sales-Customer Response thermometer with mercury bursting through the glass Photo Credit: iQoncept Shutterstock

Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen an inexorable rise in the use of mobile devices for commerce, including price comparisons, stock checking, product feature research, and actually purchasing.

Now new research has shown that mobile has truly reached the “tipping point” for mobile commerce in the UK, with over 50% of traffic to retail sites coming from mobile devices.

And what’s more, over 1/3 of all online purchases are now made over mobile as well!Cellphone with arms and a shopping cart.

IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) is the UK’s industry association for e-retail, and in conjunction with consultancy Capgemini they sponsor a quarterly benchmarking report on the retail industry.

The study ran from May through July 2014, and was based upon information from some 40 retailers.

Overall, 52% of the traffic to retail sites came from a mobile device, either a smartphone or a tablet. Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG commented “considering that as recently as 2010 mobile visits to e-retail sites accounted for less than 3 per cent of traffic, this latest milestone represents staggering growth of 2,000 per cent over the past four years.”

In addition, the study found that over 1/3 (36%) of online purchases were made over mobile. For retailers in clothing and apparel, the figure was over 40%.

With the total UK online sales reaching just over £24 billion (about US$40 billion) for the months May, June, and July, sales using smartphones and tablets was over £8 billion.

One of the most interesting findings was that about 80% of the mobile sales were using tablets, and only 20% were with smartphones, indicating that customers still value larger screens.

Mark Lewis, Online Director at John Lewis, said: “Today, over half of the traffic to comes from mobile and tablet devices and we’ve also seen an increase in the conversion rate of traffic to sales… customers want to be able to shop seamlessly across all channels and mobile is now the go-to choice alongside visiting our shops.”

Gareth Jones, group retail and strategy director at Shop Direct, said: “As a device, the smartphone is the fastest growing sales channel for us, highlighting our customers’ growing confidence in transacting on their phones.”

This article appeared on MobiAD News, published by Any Screen Productions, a strategic consultancy which focuses on mobile media and cross platform content.