The percentage of online sales completed through a mobile device (smartphones and tablets) has doubled in the space of a year, according to figures from IMRG and Capgemini.
In Q2 of 2012 the percentage stood at 11.6 per cent, but by Q2 of 2013 it had exactly doubled to 23.2 per cent. Over the same period the percentage of online retail site visits through mobile devices has also shot up sharply, from 21.1 per cent in Q2 2012 to 34 per cent in Q3 2013.
IMRG and Capgemini have been tracking sales through mobile devices for over three years, during which time its penetration of online sales has grown by more than 2,000 per cent, with the penetration of online retail visits via mobile devices growing by 1,100 per cent.
Much has been made of the effect of mobile on the high street, with commentators suggesting smartphones can be a friend to physical stores rather than an enemy.
However, the switch in device types used for internet access appears to have had a knock-on effect for bounce rates.
At the beginning of 2010 over 97 per cent of retail site access was through a desktop. Over the subsequent three years, as mobile device access began to grow rapidly, the bounce rate rose from 21.7 per cent in 2010 to 26 per cent in 2013.
Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG said: “There appears to be a correlation between the surge in mobile commerce over the past three years and the rise in visitor bounce rates on e-retail websites. While consumers have generally become more confident in using their mobile devices as a shopping tool, the latest data suggests they have also become more demanding.
“Higher search volumes will inevitably result in an increase in bounce rates as shoppers will often compare products and pricing across several brands. However, by offering an engaging and relevant experience for customers across all channels retailers will ultimately achieve the end goal of higher conversion rates and an increase in customer loyalty.”
There was also a significant rise in click & collect sales in Q2, reaching a record high of 16 per cent of online sales for multichannel retailers; this represents annual growth of 33 per cent compared with the 12 per cent penetration recorded in Q2 last year.
Chris Webster, Vice President / Consumer Products and Retail, Capgemini commented: “The record high levels of online sales via mobile devices corresponds with record high rates for click and collect, which now stands at 16 per cent of all eCommerce orders. This correlation of mobile ordering and location flexible collection is at the heart of the mobile internet and the impact it will have on consumer behaviour. Maybe we are truly entering the Martini age - anytime, anyplace, anywhere”.