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One in four Christmas shopping excursions took place on a mobile device, driving e-commerce, finds study

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The high street may have taken a hit this Christmas at the expense of online shopping – culminating in Boxing Day 2011 being named the UK’s biggest ever online shopping day – but much of this rise in e-commerce was driven by mobile, suggests a new report.

In a new study, RichRelevance, a provider of personalisation to online retailers, reports that mobile was a huge driver of e-commerce shopping in December, with more than a quarter of online shopping sprees taking place on mobile. The report also found that Apple iPad shoppers accounted for 79% of mobile purchases in December.

The first UK Christmas Shopping Study from RichRelevance analysed the shopping behaviour of 139 million consumers on many of the UK’s largest retail websites during the month of December 2011. Created to give retailers new insight into how the proliferation of tablet devices and smartphones is impacting the way British consumers shop and buy, the report finds that more than one in four (27%) of online shopping excursions in the UK occurred on a mobile device during the busy shopping season. In fact, from the beginning of December 2011, the mobile share of online shopping sessions grew steadily, rising from 23% at the beginning of the month to 31% by 31 December. That said, shoppers purchasing from their mobile devices represented just over 8% of total sales.

After enjoying their Christmas lunch and Boxing Day leftovers, consumers settled in on the sofa to shop online: on Christmas Day, 43% of all shoppers were on a mobile device and on Boxing Day 40%. Apple mobile devices account for the bulk of all online non-desktop sales: just over 97% of the sales originated from an iPad or an iOS-enabled device in December 2011. During the month of December, average order value on mobile devices was £111.86, compared with £102.20 on desktops.

“M-commerce is rapidly becoming a top priority for the retail industry as customers look to connect with retailers anytime, anywhere. This is evidenced by the fact that mobile devices accounted for more than a quarter of online shopping and nearly one in 10 pounds this Christmas,” says Darren Hitchcock, vice president, UK and European region, RichRelevance. “We are working in depth with the majority of our customers in support of their mobile initiatives to ensure consumers have a consistent and personalised experience regardless of which channel they choose to shop.”

The UK Christmas Shopping Study analyses the shopping patterns of online consumers in the UK. The study is based on more than 139 million online shopping sessions and 3.7 million orders, which took place between 1 December 2011 and 31 December 2011 on the websites of UK retailers. The analysis was conducted on select large UK retailers who have deployed the {RR} personalisation software suite.

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