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Multichannel retailers enjoy faster m-commerce growth than pureplays: study

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Multichannel retailers are enjoying stronger growth from m-commerce than their online-only competitors, new research has found.

Those using channels including shops and a website to sell saw sales via mobile rise by 79% in the period from January to June, according to a study by Capgemini and IMRG, while those who only sell via a website saw their m-commerce sales lift by 59%.

Multichannel merchants also saw greater improvements to their m-commerce conversion rate during the period, as it rose by 33%, while pureplay m-commerce conversion rates dipped slightly. “This suggests, said the IMRG and Capgemini study, “the multichannel merchants’ investment in mobile optimisation and personalisation is paying off as more smartphone and tablet users are converting from browsers into buyers.”

But those shopping with pureplay online retailers spend more, the figures also suggested, with m-retail baskets rising by 8% in the period, to £82 per transaction (excluding travel sales). That compares with a 5% rise to £80 for merchants with stores.

A separate IMRG study found two-thirds of retailers have optimized their website for mobile. When that’s broken down into multichannel retailers and online-only, or catalogue merchants, 74% of the first group have optimized their site, compared with 53% of the latter.

Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG , said: “While both the pureplay and multichannel merchants appear to be on a level playing field in terms of overall online growth, we do know that the latter group are ahead in terms of mobile adoption. Around three-quarters of multichannel merchants now have a mobile-optimised website, compared with just over half of online-only and catalogue brands.

“Inevitably, we are seeing an overall slowdown in m-retail as growth comes off a higher base. However, with an increasing number of consumers now using their mobile devices to browse and compare products while in-store, there is no doubt mobile will continue to be an integral part of retailers’ multichannel strategies.”

Alex Smith-Bingham, vice president, digital services leader, at Capgemini , said: “The value of a fully-optimised mobile platform cannot be overstated. In driving traffic, encouraging brand loyalty and most importantly, growing revenues, m-commerce is more important to the retail sector today than it has ever been. We saw earlier this year that a third of online retail sales are now made on a mobile device and the figure is only set to rise as the technology becomes increasingly more sophisticated. It would appear that the multichannel retailers, which have been investing in their mobile platforms, have a larger opportunity than their pureplay counterparts as mobile is not only an additional sales channel but can also drive greater engagement and sales in-store.”

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