The etail trade association said the figures revealed a significant rise in sales through smartphones and tablets, up from 4% in 2011 in its IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking report.
Mobile sales consistently grew by about 300% throughout the year, a growth rate that slowed towards the end of the year. The sales accounted for 12% of the £62.4bn spent online in 2012, according to the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index.
Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG [IRDX VIMR], said: “2012 is regarded by many as the year mobile truly arrived and these figures certainly justify that claim. Sales via mobile devices have tripled in the space of a year.” He added: “While we are starting to see a leveling off in the growth of both sales and visits, one in eight sales and one in five visits were through mobile devices in 2012 and conversion rates continue to rise.”
Chris Webster, vice president, consumer products and retail at Capgemini, said: “The results leave very little doubt the value advancements in mobile technology have brought to the retail sector. However we have seen a clear division in the mobile channels, with shoppers four times more likely to purchase an item on a tablet device 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.”