Forty per cent of online sales are now made over mobile devices, according to the IMRG.
The etail trade association says growing consumer confidence in the technology appears to be fuelling the drive towards buying over smartphones and tablet computers.
The latest IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmark for the fourth quarter, from November 2014 to January 2015, found fast growth in the use of mobile in retail. The figure of 40% was up from 37% in the previous quarter, and from 32% in the same quarter last year.
Some 25% of m-commerce sales were completed through smartphones, and 75% through tablets over the last quarter.
Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG , said: “The impact of mobile on general user behaviour has been extremely significant – most of us now carry our phones around 24/7 and regard these devices as being a central part of everyday life.
“In an online shopping context, the smartphone has generally been regarded as a research tool for comparing prices and checking information primarily. Yet the number of m-retail sales completed via these devices has risen from one in five to one in four in the space of a year, and we’ve seen mobile conversion rates rise significantly over the same period as UK shoppers now clearly feel confident in using their smartphones for completing purchases.”
Adgild Hop, retail director at Capgemini , said: “The quarterly growth of smartphones as a shopping channel may only be slight, it is however very significant. Over the last few years, retailers have taken huge steps in improving their smartphone shopping platforms, making them more user intuitive and more secure for customers. Coupled with greater connectivity, consumers are more confident than ever in using their smartphones to make complete purchases and not just for online window shopping.
“Whereas smartphones continue to evolve in leaps and bounds, tablet devices are reaching what could be considered a plateau, and to an extent merely serve as a replacement to the home PC. With ongoing investments, ever-expanding screens, and increasingly ubiquitous connectivity, I don’t think it will be too long before smartphones overtake tablets as the prominent mobile shopping device. However, the potential impact of the smartphone on the in-store shopping experience will be a key area of innovation and development in the coming months.”