Record growth reported in mobile commerce
According to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, the mobile commerce market increased by 254 per cent year-on-year in March 2012 and achieved average growth of 300 per cent for the first quarter.
Mobile conversion rates - which represent the proportion of customers who go on to make a purchase after visiting a retail site - reached 1.4 per cent in the first three months of this year, compared to 0.7 per cent in the same period in 2011.
Overall online sales reached a value of £5.8 billion in March 2012, which equates to spending of £114 per person and marks a year-on-year rise of 14 per cent for the e-retail sector.
Industry association IMRG highlighted a number of factors that contributed to the strong performance during the month, including the sunny start to spring, which was linked to a 23 per cent month-on-month increase in clothing sales.
Mothering Sunday also helped to boost online transactions, with gifts as well as health and beauty products attracting strong demand.
Andy Mulcahy, head of communications at IMRG, said confidence in mobile channels is "obviously growing" but stressed the importance of increasing sales conversion rates.
He also revealed that the expansion of the e-retail market as a whole is in line with the organisation's forecast for the year.
Chris Webster, head of retail and technology at management consulting and professional services firm Capgemini, added: "It is very interesting to have the growing significance of m-commerce confirmed and [this] should encourage retailers to factor in mobile devices to their total retail strategy.
"The growth rate is important, but so too is the conversion rate; mobile customer experience must be improved to harness its potential."