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Retail sales via smartphones up 20% in nine months

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Half of those who own smartphones such as the Apple iPhone have made a purchase via their handset, according to new research by research group eDigitalResearch and online business consultancy Portaltech.

It is the second study of this nature published by the two organisations, and the latest data indicates that the number of people who have bought goods on their smartphones grew a huge 20 per cent between June 2010 and March 2011.

The survey suggests that m-commerce is quickly becoming “an essential lifestyle accessory”, a comment backed up by the fact 11 per cent of users now make a purchase on these devices every week.

An increasing number of people reportedly expect more from mobile websites now than they did last year, which is a sure sign that the m-commerce shopper is becoming more knowledgeable as smartphones becoming increasingly ubiquitous.

Chris Russell, Director at eDigitalResearch, said: “This second study reinforces what our previous results have shown; that the dramatic increase in smartphone use is fundamentally affecting consumer behaviour.

“We are entering into an age of ME-commerce; a shopping revolution where the consumer now has the power to dictate to retailers where, when and how they want to shop and interact.”

Inevitably retailers must keep up with consumer demand, and there is hardly a week that goes by without a company in the industry unveiling a new mobile platform or smartphone app.

Electricals specialist Maplin, department store group Debenhams and fashion retailer French Connection are among the businesses to either launch or update smartphone apps in recent months.

Rachel Wilkinson, Head of Brand and Retail at Portaltech, remarked: “I hope this research reassures reluctant retailers that mobile is not a flash in the pan, but a rapidly increasing channel that should be integrated into wider marketing, social and commercial strategies.”

Published on Tuesday 10 May by Editorial Assistant

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