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Mobile to make up 1 in 5 online sales by Christmas

Mobile to make up 1 in 5 online sales by Christmas
Thursday September 6 2012

The percentage of UK online sales made through a mobile device could reach 1 in 5 (20%) by Christmas 2012, with the percentage of site visits through the channel at around 1 in 3 (30%).

This forecast follows the latest results from the IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Index, which found that the percentage of sales through mobile devices rose to 11.6% in Q2 of 2012, up from 8.2% in the first quarter. Since the beginning of 2010 the penetration of mobile in terms of UK e-retail sales has soared 2,900%, rising from just 0.4% of e-retail sales in Q1 2010 to 11.6% in the last quarter. Site visits through mobile devices also rose significantly in the second quarter, reaching 21.1% of visits to UK e-retail websites, up from 16.4% in the previous quarter.

The research also revealed that the visitor bounce rate for Q2 rose to 29%, the highest yet recorded in the two and a half years the Quarterly Benchmarking has been tracking it. This suggests that consumers are becoming ever-more demanding when it comes to initial site engagement; the average bounce rate was 22% in 2010 and 24% in 2011; year-to-date in 2012, the average bounce rate is 28%.

There were some positive signs in terms of basket abandonment rates, as the average rate fell five percentage points in Q2 to 55%. Although basket abandonment has been falling, the rate at which it is happening is only marginal and the overall level remains high. The average was 61% in 2010, 60% in 2011 and 58% year-to-date in 2012.

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG, said: “While the share of online sales going through mobile devices continues to grow impressively, the actual final conversion side of it is only part of the story. Mobile has placed retailers, symbolically perhaps, in the palms of consumers’ hands, removing many former borders and expanding the contexts and times that engagement can happen.

“With the phenomenal growth seen in m-retail sales and visits, inevitably this also impacts the website visitor bounce rates, with fickle consumers easily able to compare and browse across multiple websites before completing a purchase.”