This is the first time that the percentage of online retail sales made through smartphones and tablets recorded a decrease in since the tracking started in 2010.
IMRG or Interactive Media in Retail Group specializes in market tracking and insight, benchmarking and best practice sharing.
According to the survey, just under half (49.6 per cent) of online retail sales were completed through mobile devices during Q1 2016, compared with 51.3 per cent in the previous quarter. There was also a slight fall in the percentage of visits to online retail sites through mobile devices – at 64.6 per cent in Q1 2016, down from 65.6 per cent in Q4 2015.
This fall is likely to have been influenced by a marked split that has been recorded in growth rates on tablets and smartphones recently. While sales through smartphones were up 83 per cent in April for example, growth in sales through tablet devices slowed down to a record low of just 3 per cent.
There was also a continuation of a recent trend, with the percentage of click and collect orders for multichannel retailers remaining steady at 22 per cent in Q1, unchanged from Q4 2015 and has been consistently around this mark for around a year now.
Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer, IMRG, said, “These latest results appear to track the effects of some displacement activity we are seeing in relation to sales made through mobile devices. While the majority of these sales still come through tablets, shoppers are increasingly using their smartphones in situations where they would previously have used a tablet – the screen sizes have become larger, retailers have focused on optimising the experience for smartphone users and consumers are becoming increasingly confident in using these devices for a wide range of activities.”
Speaking about the decrease of online sales made through mobile devices, Bhavesh Unadkat, Management Consultant in Retail Customer Engagement Design, Capgemini, said, “This is predominantly due to tablet penetration which we have seen tailing off. We would usually expect this to be offset by a rise of sales on smartphones, particularly given the number of 'phablets' now in the market, but this hasn't occurred to such an extent.” (SH)
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