47 per cent of retail sales were made using a smartphone device (mobile commerce) during December 2016, Capgemini and IMRG’s e-Retail Sales report suggests. Sales made using smartphones are predicted to continue to steadily rise, but the popularity in purchases made with mobile devices was not expected: “Following a below-expectation year in 2015, online sales growth has shot back up to an extent that seemed highly unlikely at the start of the year. There are two key factors driving this. The first is that Black Friday became an ‘online’ event in 2015, and this seems to have had a lasting effect on people’s shopping behaviour and preferences – our Index has recorded strong growth for online sales ever since that day,” Justin Opie, managing director, at IMRG said.
“The second is that sales through smartphones are continuing to grow at a very strong rate, which is increasing the times and places in which people can browse and engage with online retailers.”
The decline in the number of people using PCs to make purchases has never been so defined. This report predicts ecommerce sales will generate $632 billion by 2020, and purchases made using smartphone devices will then account for 45 per cent of these sales.
Capgemini and IMRG’s report also states mobile devices like the iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge have played a pivotal role in the rise of online purchases because of their large screens, however the report does not indicate how many purchases have been made using Android or Apple Pay: “2016 was a turbulent year with a number of predictions for retail and beyond going against the status quo. Regardless, it was still a record breaking year for online sales - up 16% on 2015,” Bhavesh Unadkat, Principal Consultant in Retail Customer Engagement Design at Capgemini said.
“Few would have anticipated the decline in sales made on tablets, but with sales made through overall mobile devices generating over 50% of visits, combined with the sweeping growth of both visits and conversions from smartphones, mobile continues to head towards being the number one sales channel.
“2017 will be filled with a level of uncertainty depending on the progress and impact of Brexit, however with the investment retailers are making in improving the customer shopping experience, I am sure it will be another record breaking year for online sales,” Unadkat added.