Balance Tips Toward Mobile for UK Retail Ecommerce - eMarketer

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Balance Tips Toward Mobile for UK Retail Ecommerce

Mobile commerce surges in the UK

September 16, 2014

The UK is a nation of digital shoppers. eMarketer estimates that retail ecommerce in the UK accounts for a larger proportion of total retail sales than in any other country tracked. And mobile is becoming an increasingly important element of the ecommerce equation.

UK Mcommerce Visit Share, Q2 2012-Q2 2014 (% of total retail ecommerce site visits)

According to data released this month by the Interactive Media in Retail Group and Capgemini, Q2 2014 saw mcommerce traffic overtake desktop commerce traffic for the first time, with 52.0% of all retail ecommerce visits coming from mobile devices, up 18 percentage points from the same quarter last year.

Mcommerce sales share was a little bit further back, but still recorded impressive growth to account for over one-third—36.0%—of total retail ecommerce sales in Q2 2014, up almost 13 percentage points from Q2 2013.

UK Retail Mcommerce Sales Share, Q2 2012-Q4 2014 (% of total retail ecommerce sales)

The reason for the proportion of transactions on mobile being behind the proportion of traffic is a two-sided consideration. On one side, traffic is so high because mobile devices have become an intrinsic part of the shopping journey, used at all points on that journey and all locations (think showrooming). On the other side, transactions are lower because the mobile shopping experience, and particularly the smartphone experience, is much less satisfactory than shopping via the desktop—screen size is an obvious limiter, while process and security issues are concerns among consumers.

However, mobile commerce can be split into smartphone commerce and tablet commerce, and with tablet commerce accounting for ever-greater proportions of mcommerce, such concerns will become less and less of an issue. In short, mcommerce is already a big deal, and it’s only going to get bigger.

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