M-Retail Zooms 5,000% In Just Three Years

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According to new research published this week, m-commerce sales have ballooned 5,000% in just three years and now accounts for one in every five purchases made online.In 2010, mobile purchases contributed just 0.4% to sales conducted by e-retailers, figures released by IMRG and Capgemini show. Three years later, mobile makes up 20.2% of e-retail sales in the UK after reaching 12% at end of 2012.

Between February-April 2013, m-commerce broke the 20% barrier for the first time, growing from 15.4% in the previous three-month period. Traffic coming from mobile devices to retail websites accounted for 30% of total visits to e-commerce platforms in the quarter, against 24% three months earlier. In 2010, visits via mobile devices represented 2.6% of total traffic to e-commerce platforms, growing to 8.2% in 2011 and 21.3% in 2012.

According to this research, the strong increase in m-commerce in the first quarter was driven by the influx of tablet owners, following bumper sales of such devices during the Christmas holiday season.

In view of the continuing shift to mobile Internet, mobile devices are very likely to replace desktop PCs as the top tool for buying products on the web, IMRG’s CIO Tina Spooner commented. The figures certainly suggest that this could happen even sooner than expected.

Chris Weber, VP, head of retail consulting and technology at Capgemini, suggests that although sales via mobile devices surged from nearly zero to more than 20% of e-commerce sales in just three years, the medium is yet to show its full potential.