By Daniel Hunter
The massive appeal of smartphones and tablets is set to continue the rapid expansion of m-commerce into mainstream use.
In their latest report, M-Commerce in the UK 2012, Verdict, the independent retail analysts, forecasts the channel to grow 504% from 2012 to 2017.
This will result in almost £1 in every £4 spent online being through a mobile device in 2017. The food & grocery sector dominates, with 30.1% market share in 2011 thanks to the boom in home delivery of grocery shopping. We expect innovative approaches to web and app design will be the main driver for strong performances, as more retailers recognize the potential for sales growth and marketing opportunities.
Mobile shopping is flourishing in sectors that have embraced technological innovation, with consistent investment in content and capabilities paramount to long term success. However, there are signs that many shoppers will only use their mobile devices for non-transactional purposes.
The report’s survey found 24.8%, an increase of 8.6 percentage points, of shoppers stating they will mostly use their mobile device for research before shopping. While this may prove a barrier for some, it also provides an opportunity for those that provide helpful and detailed information about their products.
Matthew Rubin, Retail Analyst at Verdict: “Early adopters Amazon and eBay are among the most prominent m-commerce retailers, as their optimized websites and apps expand the online shopping experience, enabling users to access, use and remain updated anywhere. Third party developers are also playing a divisive role in the channel, not only in promoting special offers but also encouraging the practice of showrooming, which inevitably hinders high street retailers.”
Rubin continues: “The channel is essential for all retailers with ambitions of long term growth; however evolving technology and the blurring lines between devices means innovation and adaptation is essential to stay ahead of the curve. Spending pressures have led consumers to seek the best value deals through m-commerce, but as the economy improves they will be drawn to the best content that adds value to not only online purchases, but also the instore experience.”
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