Tablet sales will fuel more online shopping

Rating: £1 in every £8 spent online in UK comes from mobile or tablet says IMRG

Figures emanating from the UK market’s experience in the run up to Xmas 2012 show that not only is online shopping exploding but that tablet users are at the forefront of this trend. That combines with significant growth in tablet sales. Recent research has shown that a quarter of all smartphone users (26 per cent) and over a third of tablet owners (35 per cent) use their devices to browse for products online before going in-store to make a purchase, according to Udozi. UK online sales increased 17.5 per cent year on year to £9.4 billion in December 2012, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

For example, at the traditional bricks & mortal UK chain, Argos, an impressive 12 per cent of all sales are now made via smartphones or tablets.

However, traditional UK High Street consumer electronics retailer, DMG – which owns Currys & Dixons, claimed to have sold a round one million tablets (mostly Kindles & iPads) in the 12 weeks run-up to Xmas 2012

According to Alan Gabbay, founder of retail shopping comparison site, Udozi, “We have been hit by the loss of some of [the UK's] favourite high-street stores like Comet and Jessops over the past few months.

He added, “So it’s not surprising that High street sales are down, even with the Xmas sales drive. ”

“With iconic chains disappearing from our High Streets forever, retailers need to adapt and embrace new technology like mobile if they are to retain a competitive edge in 2013.”

Sales growth throughout 2012 reached 14 per cent as consumers spent £78 billion online.

Sales through mobile devices increased 304 per cent in 2013 over the previous year, according to IMRG

“70 per cent of us would like to be able to reserve items on our phones to purchase on the High Street, demonstrating the potential of mobile to bridge the gap between retailers’ online platforms and their traditional high-street offerings,” Gabbay remarked.

The High Street isn’t dead. It just needs to ensure that it has truly gone multi-channel (web, mobile and bricks & mortar).

Industry observers agree that a key factor for retailers will be whether they can help consumers continue their shopping journeys between channels by remembering items added to shopping baskets between mobile devices, tablets and desktops.

About Hans Cett

Hans Cett is an established freelance author and consultant specialising in the mobile communications industry. He also writes for Countdown2MWC -
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