Mobile devices now account for all online sales growth as the amount of sales through desktop computers has plateaued, according to a new report.

Though total online retail has averaged around 15% growth since Q1 2011 figures excluding mobile have actually seen a steady decline before flat-lining in Q2 2013.

This is the first time that IMRG and Capgemini have reported separate statistics for mobile sales, with the data also showing that 23% of all online retail sales in Q2 2013 came from mobile devices.

Of this proportion, tablet devices account for 85% of mobile sales so far this year with smartphones making up the remaining 15%.

It’s almost certain that m-commerce will continue to increase as a proportion of online sales, not least because there’s so much room for growth among existing smartphone owners.

A separate survey included in the Econsultancy Mobile Commerce Compendium found that half of smartphone owners (51%) hadn’t made a purchase using their smartphone in the previous six months, so there’s still huge potential for mobile sales to increase.

Multichannel sales

However it’s also important for retailers to try and get a better view of the entire customer journey, rather than just focusing on which device or channel actually achieves the conversion.

For example consumers will often research their purchases on mobile or in-store before finally making a purchase online, and this is impacting the way that multichannel retailers structure their businesses.

B&Q’s director of omnichannel Michael Durbridge recently told us that his company had begun giving shop staff attribution for online sales in their geographical region.

But one of the key challenge in any omnichannel strategy is how to track the customer journey between offline and online sales channels.

According to Durbridge:

We’ve got full tracking in place across desktop and mobile if customers are logged in, but what we haven’t got yet is the tracking between in-store activity and online. The key challenge for that is coming up with a unique identifier for each customer.

Durbridge is one the speakers at Econsultancy’s Jump event on October 9, which is all about creating seamless multichannel customer experiences. 

Now in its fourth year Jump will be attended by more than 1,200 senior client-side marketers and forms part of our week-long Festival of Marketing extravaganza.

David Moth

Published 24 September, 2013 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (5)


Deri Jones, CEO at SciVisum Ltd

> Mobile devices now account for all online sales growth

Kind of ironic that the word iPad didn't get a mention in the article - many folks report it contributing to the biggest % of mobile sales.

eConsultancy's Manifesto says: "We believe that improving the customer experience must be the relentless focus of modern marketing"

And certainly looking at user experience drilled down for iPad - needs a seperate view than for just mobile lumped together.

almost 5 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Managing Editor at Barclaycard

@Deri, the post does mention the proportion of sales through tablet devices, though admittedly it doesn't refer to the iPad specifically.

"tablet devices account for 85% of mobile sales so far this year with smartphones making up the remaining 15%"

almost 5 years ago


Jorge Cunha

This article could show us the Big Challenge to looking for patterns switching users between Desktop, Smartphone and tablet.

I think that mobile devices are contributing more, because if they are devices with 7 "" or 10"" this kind of device are more likely to contribute to this total. Smartphones are a good starting ponit and when you are on the street looking for services near by your location or when you are going home using the tube or bus and when you are waiting for them.

I would suggest to try to distinguish this kind of devices between desktops, smartphones and tablets

almost 5 years ago


Matt Lovell, Head of Customer Data, Insight & Analytics at Eurostar International Ltd.

I would argue this stat is a little bit misleading. If you split out Mobile and Tablet separately, you would probably find that the majority of the growth is actually as a result of tablets and not smaller mobile devices which isn't that surprising when you bear in mind that many people now use a tablet in place of a laptop at home to browse the internet.

It also means there is less to do in terms of redeveloping content and website navigation for Mobile devices as you're still talking about a relatively large screen.

The article seems to imply that if it wasn't for the world of mobile, online growth would be stagnating whereas it actually looks to me like it's suggesting that online sales growth continues to grow quarter on quarter however we are seeing an ever increasing shift of people towards using handheld devices (tablets) alongside desktop, laptop and notepad computers to complete these purchases.

For me what would have been really good to see was these graphs but for each of the above types of computer so that we could see Desktop vs. Laptop vs. Notebook vs. Tablet vs. Mobile. Then we could better interrogate the data and actually discuss if users are significantly changing their habits...

almost 5 years ago


Yigal Carmy

Well, it's true. We see it all around.
The strategy should be "Mobile first" and the target should be conversion rates in mobile that equal rates of the web.

almost 5 years ago

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