In 2015 the shift towards mobile asserting itself as the dominant user device for shoppers has become unavoidable.

According to an IMRG report from February 2015, visits to ecommerce sites via smartphone and tablet devices accounted for 45% of all ecommerce traffic in the UK.

This year the importance of mobile for retailers has also become integral to business, as Google now explicitly ranks mobile friendly sites above their non-optimised competition.

With these trends in mind, I've rounded up more than 50 of the best stats from various surveys and reports that we've seen in the past 12 months in one handy guide.

For much more data on mobile commerce download our Internet Statistics Compendium.

Retailers missing out on £6.6bn a year by not going mobile

The UK retail industry is sacrificing £6.6bn per year due to lack of investment into its mobile offering, according to research by Centre for Retail Research (CRR) and VoucherCodes.co.uk

Other key highlights from the research include: 

  • Despite retailers reporting their share of mobile sales almost doubled from 2013 to 2014, one fifth (17%) still have no mobile offering
  • Retailers recognise the importance of mobile retail, with 66% saying investment in mobile would help them drive growth and 88% believing they will get more visits in store
  • 73% of UK shoppers predict they will spend more on mobile this year, and 15% now use mobile as their primary shopping device
  • Almost half of consumers (40%) feel the mobile experience could be improved

 

How are brands optimising for mobile? 

Brands are making progress with their mobile strategies, though there's still plenty to be done, according to our Quarterly Briefing The Quest for Mobile Excellence, produced in partnership with Adobe.

Not surprisingly, responsive design is one of the most popular ways to optimise for mobile users.

Adaptive design, on the other hand, is less popular. This may be because AWD is more complex and resource heavy, though it does offer benefits that RWD doesn't. 

Q: Which of the following have you employed as part of your attempts to optimise for mobile (company respondents)?

Online retailer mobile unique audience 

The number of visitors to the most popular online retailers on mobile platforms have increased year on year according to Ofcom.

Although eBay had the largest audience in March 2014 (4.9m) compared to Amazon (4.6m), the Christmas period for Amazon took its mobile audience to a peak of 5.8m.

Argos and Tesco had year-on-year growth of 34% and 19% respectively, and peaked at 2.8 and 2.5m in December 2013.

mobile retail traffic

Fashion rules UK mobile retail searches 

In the UK, clothing/apparel/accessories is the top retail category searched for on mobile devices.

Your mobile app is the new face of your business

Oracle Mobile explored how and why young people today use apps across their connected devices. 

According to the research, this generation is unlikely to use a company’s service again following a poor app experience:

  • 48% of UK millennials  said that a poor mobile experience would make it less likely for them to use a business’s other products (54% globally)
  • 31% of UK millennials  said it would make them less likely to recommend the company’s products (39% globally)
  • 20% of UK millennials  said it would even give them a negative view of the business’s products (27% globally)

UK millennials were also revealed to be less comfortable in general in using apps on their smartphone or tablet:

  • Only 63% of UK millennials like using a mobile app to purchase a company’s product or service, compared to 73% of their global counterparts
  • 61% of millennials globally uploaded media content via their smartphone, as opposed to only 51% in the UK

Mobile commerce sales are rising 

IMRG and Capgemini’s Quarterly Benchmark reveals that mobile now accounts for 40% of all online retail sales.

This figure is up from 37% in the previous quarter, and represents the steepest quarterly rise in the rate of mobile retail penetration since Q4 2013/14, when mobile devices accounted for 32% of online sales. 

One in four mobile commerce sales are now done through smartphones.

Consumer spending on mobile to top £53 billion by 2024

The latest research from Barclays looks at the rapidly evolving field of m-commerce: 

  • UK Consumers to spend £53.6bn a year using their smartphones and tablets by 2024.
  • Mobile’s real influence on spending expected to be more than double that, with 42% of all retail sales to involve a mobile device in some way or another.
  • Less than 3% of retailers believe their business is at the cutting-edge when it comes to being mobile ready and a further 70% said they did not currently offer a mobile website or a mobile app for consumers.
  • Sales made through apps now account for a third (33%) of all retail spend on mobiles, despite only 10% of retailers offering one.

The current state of 'showrooming'

According to comScore, 43.3% of UK smartphone users have used their device in a retail store.

42% now bank on mobile, yet banks are still failing to advertise to the majority audience

Research from BuzzCity reveals a 60% increase of people using their mobile devices to bank online.

  • Almost half (42%) of all mobile users (up from 26% in 2013) are now routinely making payments through mobile devices. 
  • Although mobile payments have overtaken the use of credit and debit cards globally, one in ten don’t believe their banks offer the facilities to bank online.
  • Although nearly all banks now offer mobile banking services, marketing efforts to communicate to their customers remain traditional, with TV cited as the most used medium for promotions (42%). 
  • Only 16% of marketing spend was placed on mobile advertising, a decrease of 10% from 2013 and less is spent on radio and newspaper (9%) respectively. Banks are failing to communicate on the very devices they are offering their services on.

Understanding the mobile customer journey

Our latest study, The Retailer’s Imperative: Strategic Approaches to Customer Experience conducted in partnership with SDL revealed how retailers are mastering customer experience across channels. Here’s a sneak peek at the findings…

We asked our respondents: "how well does your organisation understand the customer journey for the following audiences?" (this chart shows responses for ’strong understanding’).

The results of previous investment in understanding the mobile customer journey are evident as more than half are now satisfied with their knowledge of their customers’ mobile journeys. 

Various technical issues have hampered tracking and measurement efforts, and mobile has the lowest proportion of respondents saying they have a ‘strong understanding’ but the tide has turned, with more than 50% responding positively.

Retailers could do more for mobile shoppers

Somo analysed the mobile capabilities of the top 50 high street retailers, finding that:

  • 40% do not have a mobile optimised store locator.
  • 20% don't have a transactional mobile site.
  • 30% don't have an iOS app.
  • 28% don't have an Android app.
  • 44% do not have a tablet optimised site.
  • 46% don't support responsive web design.  

33% of Shopify orders came from mobile

Shopify published its year in review, revealing some interesting trends based on the 140,000+ businesses that use its platform.

In 2014, one third of ecommerce orders came from a mobile device rather than a computer.

More than one quarter of Consumers to use mobile payments in 2015

eGifter revealed the following research on consumers and their expectations of the digital payments experience:  

  • 27% of consumers plan to use some form of mobile payments in the next 6 months
  • 53% have reached for a plastic gift card at the register only to realise they left it at home
  • 40% would scan their plastic gift cards into a mobile wallet

Consumer concerns about mobile payments

Data from Walker Sands revealed that while cash use is on the decline and mobile payments are on the rise, eight out of 10 consumers have some concerns about mobile payment services, with the most popular concerns rooted in security (57%) and privacy (48%).

  • While 56% of consumers rank cash as the most secure form of payment, only 11% have paid for something in cash in the last day, down from 27% in the past year. 
  • The majority of consumers (59%) have $20 or less in their wallets.
  • 40% of consumers have used a mobile payment application in the past year, up from just 8% in 2013.
  • While only 4% of consumers have used Apple Pay in the past year, 18% say its introduction makes them more likely to make a purchase with their smartphone in the near future.
Christopher Ratcliff

Published 8 June, 2015 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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