M-commerce goes mainstream, hits £7.5bn in 2012

smartphone-shoppingM-commerce has come of age and according to fresh IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking figures, it has already gone mainstream. Last year, mobile sales accounted for 12 percent of overall e-tail revenue compared to just 4 percent in 2011.

M-commerce sales in 2012 reached £7.5 billion, tripling in a single year. Although the overall trend remains positive, the growth rate began to slow down toward the end of the year. In spite of the slowdown, m-commerce might account for as much as 20 percent of e-tail by Q4.

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG, said 2012 is widely regarded as “the year mobile truly arrived” and the figures seem to justify that claim. She noted that m-commerce saw 304 percent growth, although it started to level off towards the end of the year.

“One in 8 sales and 1 in 5 visits were through mobile devices in 2012 and conversion rates continue to rise,” she said.

Capgemini vice-president of consumer products and retail Chris Webster said there is already a clear division in the mobile channels, as consumers are four times more likely to purchase an item on a tablet over a smartphone.

“The slowdown of sales made on a smartphone suggests there is an issue with the customer experience retailers are offering. If retailers are to reinvigorate the level of adoption, they must recognise the difference in the mobile channels and build specific customer experiences for the smartphone,” he said.

With an increasing number of vendors, credit card companies and retailers embracing m-commerce, the positive trend is set to continue in the foreseeable future. However, as always, more needs to be done on all fronts to facilitate stable and sustainable growth.