Nearly one-third of all UK online sales were made from a mobile device in Q4, up from 27% in Q3, with visits to e-retail sites via smartphones, tablets accounting for nearly half of e-commerce traffic: IMRG

LONDON , February 28, 2014 (press release) – Key highlights include:

• 32% of UK online sales were via mobile devices in Q4, up from 27% in the previous quarter
• Visits to e-retail sites via smartphone and tablet devices now account for nearly half of traffic
• Mobile commerce is particularly strong in the apparel sector, with 36% of online sales and a staggering 51% of website visits now coming via mobile devices

One in three of all UK online sales are now made on a mobile device, according to the latest results from the IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking (Q4 2013/4).
In the period November 2013 to January 2014, m-retail accounted for 32% of online sales – 6% were via smartphones, while tablet devices were used for 26% of e-retail sales during the quarter. This compares with 27% overall m-retail penetration in the previous quarter and represents 18% growth between Q3 and Q4. Visits to e-retail websites via mobile devices also increased and now account for 45% of traffic.

Significantly, online clothing and fashion retailers have a higher mobile commerce penetration rate, with 36% of sales completed via smartphones and tablets during the fourth quarter. Mobile visits to apparel website also reached a tipping point with over half of traffic now coming via mobile devices.

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG, said: “With an estimated 12 million tablet devices sold in the UK alone last year, and 70% of UK consumers now owning a smartphone, it is not surprising that the penetration of mobile commerce has reached a third of the UK online retail market. In fact, the latest Quarterly Benchmarking results reveal the penetration of m-retail has surged 2,000% in just three years.

“Consumer confidence in mobile continues to increase and improvements in mobile optimisation and the user experience are certainly factors in this. We expect this trend to continue throughout 2014, with visits set to surpass desktop usage over the coming months”.

Chris Webster, Head of Retail, Capgemini: “As these results clearly demonstrate, retailers have been hugely successful in encouraging consumers to adopt mobile devices as a shopping platform. This is thanks, in no small part, to the significant investments that have been made to m-commerce sites which are now more intuitive and user friendly than ever before. This has helped ensure customers not only use the sites to browse but make purchases from them too, thereby reducing visitor bounce rates.

“However, there are some challenges that remain. As our shopping behaviours shift from a traditional e-retail model to mobile, retailers will need to overcome the consistently high basket abandonment rates, as well as the significant number of items that are returned. So while enormous strides have been made, opportunities to materially improve performance remain.”

Other key highlights include:

• Following the record high percentage of click and collect sales recorded in Q3 when the average reached 19%, this fell to 16% in Q4.

• In line with previous trends, the average bounce rate fell between Q3 and Q4 – this reached 25% in Q4 which is the lowest average recorded in two years. The average bounce rate is defined as single page visitors, irrespective of which page on the retailer’s website.

• Percentage of orders returned remained unchanged from the previous quarter at 17% during Q4. This also remained unchanged from Q4 last year.

Industry View:

Neil Sansom, Ecommerce Director at Moss Bros said: “It was definitely a mobile and click and collect Christmas and sale period for Moss Bros. We saw our first suit sold online on Christmas Day at 10am on a tablet, probably a present opened that day! Mobile now is as important as the full website version and we are now optimising the customer journey on both tablet and other mobile devices. Click and collect also played an important part as customers look for more flexibility and convenience in delivery offers and order closer to big occasions like Christmas”.


Editors Notes:

The figures above are all taken from the IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking, an additional reporting tool that is open to all participants in the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. The Quarterly Benchmarking tracks over 40 key performance indicators across 7 categories, leading to unique insights into the performance of the UK e-retail sector.
The quarters run as follows:

Quarter 1 - February to April
Quarter 2 - May to July
Quarter 3 - August to October
Quarter 4 - November to January

About IMRG
IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) is the UK’s industry association for e-retail. Formed in 1990, IMRG is setting and maintaining pragmatic and robust e-retail standards to enable fast-track industry growth, and facilitates its community of members with practical help, information, tools, guidance and networking. The strength of IMRG is the collective and cooperative power of its members. For more information please visit or email

About Capgemini
With more than 130,000 people in over 40 countries, Capgemini is one of the world's foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2013 global revenues of EUR 10.1 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business and technology solutions that fit their needs and drive the results they want. A deeply multicultural organisation, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business Experience, and draws on Rightshore®, its worldwide delivery model.

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