The percentage split of total UK online sales in the fourth quarter was 49% for desktops/laptops, 33% for tablets and 18% for smartphones. Meanwhile, visits to retail websites via mobile devices accounted for 66% of traffic in the fourth quarter, compared with 53% in the fourth quarter last year, Professional Jeweller magazine reported. While sales growth using smartphones increased sharply in 2015, growth via tablets reached a record low in December 2015, according to data from IMRG and consultancy firm Capgemini. Tina Spooner, chief information officer, IMRG, said that in January sales via smartphones grew 95.6% year-on-year, more than seven times the rate of those via tablets.
“In 2014, the rate of growth via smartphones appeared to be slowing down, but in 2015 it shot up again. The main reason for this is likely to be related to the design trend for larger screens, but many mobile retail sites have improved significantly to give a far better experience and inspire confidence in shoppers. There is also the fact that we increasingly use our smartphones for managing so much of our lives – it’s only logical that completing purchases on retail sites would gravitate over to these devices as well.” Meanwhile, Richard Tremellen, Retail Insight and Data Specialist, Capgemini, added: “This is a very significant milestone in the history of the online retail sector and reflects the work retailers have put into improving the customer experience on smartphones. Not only have mobile platforms become more secure, but the payment process is also much slicker. The result is smartphone conversion rates that are 70-80% higher than this time last year.”