Is desktop e-retail faltering before tablet and mobile?

Two reports released this week on projected retail revenue this Christmas from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG have underscored not just positive signs for the retail market and consumer economy in general, but also the meteoric growth of online shopping.

Specifically, the BRC-KPMG authored report projected that more Britons than ever before would use online channels for shopping, spurred in large part by the mass adoption of mobile devices. Last month’s statistics put the proportion of online transactions in total at 18.3%, the highest since the BRC first started keeping records of digital to non-digital transactions. The BRC’s General Director, Helen Dickinson, summed up the figures:

“It’s expected that many of us will ‘click into Christmas’ more than ever before this year, and retailers have invested significantly in user-friendly websites, fast deliveries and convenient ways of buying in-store, at home or on the move.”

A separate report by IMRG and Capegemini added further fuel for discussion and emphasized the way mobile devices continue to disrupt established hardware paradigms, suggesting that desktop-based purchases were now “flatlining” and that mobile devices such as phones and tablets were now the main engines of e-retail growth. Q2 data from the Capegemini analysis suggested that mobile devices now accounted for 23% of all e-retail transactions (which forced them to revise their previously more conservative projections for mobile retail growth). Tim Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG summarized what the report means with a statement:

“Online retail is a sector that sometimes receives a strong boost from supporting technology and mobile is certainly providing that at the moment. The latest findings, together with the continuing trend of triple-digit growth in mobile commerce, provide clear evidence of a culture change in digital shopping. Smartphones and tablets offer the kind of experience the modern consumer wants – quick access, wherever and whenever they want it. Second screening in front of the TV has turned online shopping into a leisure activity that is fully compatible with our home entertainment lifestyles.”

The above data acts as a vindication for those who have been pushing mobile devices as a viable e-retail platform, the real question now is how far that growth can be driven.

Categories: Industry Research

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