Akamai, Criteo, John Lewis, OC&C and Twenga have all released research recently into mobile shopping behaviour. Emma Herrod shares some of their findings.
The world’s largest ecommerce markets – the UK, US, China and Germany – are expected to double in size by 2018 to £645bn, adding £320bn to the ecommerce economy, according to research by OC&C Strategy Consultants, PayPal and Google. This doubling in trade will be driven largely by the rise of mobile shopping which is growing fast in Germany, the US, and particularly in China, where many consumers are skipping the desktop phase entirely and leapfrogging straight to mobile. Consumer research undertaken as part of the study revealed that 75% of Chinese consumers shop on mobile. Meanwhile, PayPal data shows that in the US 45% of online fashion transactions now take place on mobile, up from 29% in 2013.
The report also highlights the level of cross-border trading with Britain revealed as the most popular online overseas destination for German shoppers, and the second most popular in both China and the US. What’s more, when shopping for UK goods online, Chinese and German shoppers are more valuable than their British counterparts, spending on average 2.7 and 1.7 times more in each transaction. In fact, Chinese shoppers purchase from UK retailers online almost as frequently as domestic shoppers do.
Martijn Bertisen, Sales Director at Google UK comments: “A mobile-first or even mobile-only strategy is now imperative to international success in retail. UK retailers should be well positioned to lead this growth internationally, as UK consumers are already amongst the most mobile of all.”
One such retailer is John Lewis which reported that today’s ‘expert shoppers’ have no issue with multi-screening and interchanging their phones, tablets and PCs to suit their needs. Mobile accounted for 60% of traffic to johnlewis.com in the past year with mobile revenue growing by 68%. “This channel has not yet reached peak usage and ongoing developments will make the experience even more engaging,” according to its 2015 ‘How we shop, look and live’ report.
Highlighting UK shoppers’ love of mobile, mobile users buy the most frequently by a significant margin, double the frequency of desktop users and 10% more than tablet users, according to research by Akamai. Its ‘Performance Matters’ report found that nearly half of UK mobile users purchase a product weekly. This represents a higher mobile buying frequency than the US, France, Germany and Japan.
“We have seen that UK consumers are quick and decisive in their buying habits, and that mobile and tablet users have high web performance expectations, even higher than users on desktop,” says Alex Keith, UK & Ireland Regional Sales Manager at Akamai. “Despite the convenience of mobile and tablets, they are still disappointed with performance on these devices and ‘prefer’ the performance and functionality of desktops. It is a clear message to ecommerce retailers to deliver fast, secure, reliable web experiences regardless of device or location.”
Meanwhile, Criteo’s ‘2015 Q3 mCommerce Report’ shows that mobile commerce activity overall is growing worldwide with mobile devices now accounting for 35% of ecommerce transactions globally. Japan, the UK and South Korea are the largest markets.
It also reports that early investment in apps is generating significant payback for companies that prioritised the platform. In the worldwide retail category, brands that make their app experience a priority generate nearly 60% of mobile revenue from the app, up from 50% in Q2 and heavily outperforming desktops. For travel brands that make their apps a priority, about 50% of mobile revenue comes from the app.
Of the 1.4 billion online transactions analysed by Criteo, some 50% of purchases worldwide now involve multiple devices throughout the buying journey.
Looking specifically at Europe, a quarter of all ecommerce traffic is now coming from mobile devices, believes Twenga. Its analysis of traffic data from 4,000 retailers across smartphones, tablets and desktops in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland and the Netherlands found that while the UK has the highest share of mobile traffic, Spain has the largest percentage of clicks from smartphones, with the Netherlands having the highest percentage for tablets.
‘Kids & Baby clothing and equipment’ is the top category on smartphones, representing an average mobile traffic share of 31% across all seven countries, while tablet devices are used to shop for items for the home. ‘Furniture’ is the most popular category on tablets, where an average of 17% of traffic in this product category is on tablet devices. Desktops, however, are used to compare technical products with 72% of traffic for ‘Supplies’ ‘Garden and DIY’ and ‘Computers’, taking the top three rankings for traffic from desktops.