Mobile visits to retail websites reach tipping point, IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Report shows


Visits to retail websites via mobile devices have overtaken desktop traffic for the first time ever, the latest IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Report has revealed.

As well as 52% of visits coming from mobile, over a third (36%) of UK online sales are now completed on a smartphone or tablet device – a figure that rises to 40% for clothing and apparel merchants.

Of sales completed on a mobile device, smartphones account for around 18%, while tablets account for 82%, based on the data sample from the IMRG Capgemini m-Retail Sales Index.

Other key highlights from the Quarterly Benchmarking include:

  • Visitor bounce rates rose to 28% in Q2, up from 25% in the previous quarter. This is most likely due to increased mobile traffic.
  • The checkout abandonment rate reached a record low of 27%, down from 36% in Q1.

Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, said: “With over half of all e-retail traffic now coming via smartphones and tablet devices, the latest Quarterly Benchmarking results reveal a huge landmark in the growth of mobile commerce.

“Considering that as recently as 2010 mobile visits to e-retail sites accounted for less than 3% of traffic, this latest milestone represents staggering growth of 2,000% over the past 4 years. These results clearly demonstrate that retailers’ investment in mobile optimisation is encouraging consumers to adopt mobile devices as a shopping platform.”

The report also revealed that the total estimated online spend during Q2 (May to July) was £24.2bn, with £8.7bn spent via smartphones and tablet devices.

Alex Smith-Bingham, vice president, digital services leader, Capgemini, said: “Whether you’re shopping on your tablet from the comfort of your couch or on your smartphone during your daily commute, mobile offers the customer unparalleled convenience. It’s no wonder then that we’ve hit such a significant milestone in a relatively short period of time. As retailers further develop their m-commerce platforms and as the technology becomes increasingly more sophisticated, we’ll see the role of the desktop in our day-to-day shopping cycle diminish. It will be very interesting to see just how wide the gap between mobile and traditional e-retail will become in 12 months’ time.”

Mark Lewis, online director at John Lewis, said: “We called John Lewis’s first ever ‘mobile Christmas’ in 2013 and we have continued to see customers shop via this channel during the first half of this year. 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. We’ve placed a significant focus on developing our mobile strategy and have more enhancements planned for our app later this year. Customers want to be able to shop seamlessly across all channels and mobile is now the go-to choice alongside visiting our shops.”