UK retailers miss out on 1.5 billion pounds in m-commerce

Friday, 17 January 2014
According to industry data published last week, one sector where there was a clear growth during the holiday season was the online sales of non-food products, which grew 19.2 percent, the highest growth in the past four years. Data published by IMRG shows an 18 percent year-on-year growth,   with British consumers spending 11 billion pounds online in December 2013, up from 9 billion pounds spend in December 2012.

However, a report published by Jumio, credentials management company, indicates that although British retailers enjoyed the most successful mobile holiday season to date, they still missed out on nearly 1.5 billion pounds in sales due to outdated mobile payment experience or slow mobile sites. Jumio data analysis indicates that the lost sales were equal to over 50 percent of total mobile commerce profits, despite IMRG calling 2013 'the year of the mobile'.

27 percent of all online sales in December made via mobile device

The IMRG Capgemini e-retail Sales Index published this week revealed that 27 percent of all online sales recorded last December came from a mobile device and equated to 3 billion pounds, double the amount spent during the same month in 2012. This data is supported by the figures released by UK retailers, with multichannel retailers such as John Lewis, House of Fraser and Next all reporting positive Christmas trading, due to strong e-commerce and m-commerce sales.

Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG commented: “Shopping has become a leisurely activity for many of us and mobile devices have fundamentally altered the way that consumers engage with brands. Often we browse on our smartphones during our morning commute and ‘sofa surf’ in the evenings on our tablet devices. With mobile and tablets now accounting for almost 4 in 10 visits to e-retail websites and 27 percent of the UK online retail market, we expect growth to continue throughout 2014 with m-retail set to account for 30 percent of online sales during the first quarter.”

Nearly half of UK shoppers back out of a slow purchase via a mobile device

But, according to a recent Harris survey, 47 percent of UK shoppers chose not to go through with their holiday purchases on a mobile device in December due to payment issues or slow payment transactions, and over half (57 percent) did not reattempt the failed purchase on a computer at a later point.

“While consumers abandon mobile shopping carts for a variety of reasons, from slow network speeds to high shipping costs, the most significant among them is entirely under a retailer’s control – removing payment barriers,” commented Daniel Mattes, founder and CEO, Jumio. “On the whole, retailers with mobile apps have done a remarkable job with most aspects of their mobile shopping experience and this season’s numbers certainly show that.”

“However, checkout pages and payment methods have not kept pace with what smartphone devices and services can do today to streamline those processes. This cost the industry over a billion pounds this holiday season. Good news is that we expect that number to diminish as new technologies take root," added Mattes.

Jumio's report also revealed that in addition to revenues lost due to payment issues when its time to finalized the transaction, UK retailers also stand the chance of losing profits from future purchases as well. The Harris poll also showed that 63 percent of consumers are less likely to purchase a product from the same company via other channels after canceling a mobile transaction due to a weak performance.

“As mobile commerce sales increase each year, retailers need to offer a mobile checkout process that caters to on-the-go shoppers,” concluded Mattes. “Increased security measures to protect consumers and merchants as well as more convenient payment options are essential in creating the seamless mobile experience necessary to drive purchases from the cart to the front door.”

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