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Spreadshirt to invest €3mn in touch screen technology
Feb '14
Spreadshirt has announced a 3m Euro investment to roll-out touch-optimisation and other updates across its entire e-commerce platform. Spreadshirt enables people and brands to create, sell and buy ideas on merchandising.
It launched its touch-optimised t-shirt designer in the second half of 2013 and has since seen 300% growth in traffic via touch-screen devices. In the UK visits to the Spreadshirt site from these devices doubled over the festive season and orders tripled. 
New developments will include touch-friendly sites for Spreadshirt partners, landscape and desktop versions of the touch-optimised t-shirt designer, a revamped marketplace, where designers can showcase their work, and improved product detail pages. 
Philip Rooke, Spreadshirt CEO, explained, “Online shopping is entering a new chapter. Browsing on a touch screen is now a key part of the research phase of a purchase, which is then completed on a desktop. 15% of our sales started with browsing on touch screen devices in 2013 and we’re expecting that to rise to 25% this year.
"The touch screen stage tends to be more social, it’s where people share ideas and look for inspiration, as well as compare products and prices. If online retailers do not provide a suitable browsing experience for this pre-sale research phase, they risk losing the customer altogether!”.  
He continued “Currently, direct sales via touch devices at Spreadshirt are single digit, although up to 10% of orders on the Spreadshirt website over Christmas 2013 were completed via touch devices. These orders do tend to be less complex, which means a smaller basket, but we’re also seeing a high conversion rate. So it’s vital that we continue to expand and invest in our touch screen offering.” 
A recent report from Usablenet found that 65% of tablet owners in the UK and US use it for researching before buying and 63% for checking prices or store information.
Touch forms 20% of Spreadshirt’s global traffic, most of which comes via search, therefore the company is not planning to develop an app in 2014.  Spreadshirt will be concentrating on creating responsive design interfaces for touch screen browsers; making it easier for consumers, brands and their fans to create, sell and buy ideas on merchandising.
Spreadshirt saw a sharp rise in visits via touch devices over Christmas 2012, which led to the launch of its touch-optimised t-shirt designer. The designer has since had an average of 2m visitors a month, rising to 3m in December. In 2013 Spreadshirt as a whole registered five times more orders through touch devices as in 2012, with tablet traffic growing faster than smartphone traffic.


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