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Mobile E-commerce and 2012. Develop Your Mobile Brand Now

Published on January 20, 2012
Tags: Web Design London

We’ve known for quite a while that UK consumers are very keen on online shopping; even as high streets have been struggling and well-known names are worried about bankruptcy, online spending has been steadily growing. Now, with the figures for 2011 coming in, it’s clearer than ever before that, increasingly, we are a nation of online shoppers – and that isn’t about to change. If you haven’t yet got yourself an ecommerce website, now could be the time to invest.

A recent report from Kenshoo, a software provider, has found that paid search ads resulted in 50% more transactions in 2011 than they did the previous year, leading to significantly increased revenues. In terms of year on year growth for sales revenue, 26% of it came from search advertising in 2011, suggesting that this form of advertising is more popular than ever – SEO professionals might want to take note of this. Also, in the last couple of weeks of December, conversion rates were up by 75% and sales transactions were up by 66%.

Interestingly, even though UK consumers are shopping online more and more, the value of the average transaction has actually gone down, largely because people are looking for the best deals – and perhaps also because more frequent online shopping leads to smaller purchases on average.  Despite this, the total retail sales generated in the UK last year managed to top a massive £50bn, which accounted for around 12% of all spending, and is the highest figure in Europe.

This means that, last year, online shoppers spent just under £1500 each on average, spread out over 39 items. One estimate from Kelkoo calculates this to be a 14% growth in the online retail market. Another point of note from the 2011 studies is that consumers in the UK are much more willing to make purchases online than people in the US, with UK retailers seeing a significantly better return on their search advertising when compared to US data.

So what are some of the reasons for the increase in UK online shopping? One arguably, is that this is a trend that has been growing for a while. Another is that it is often possible to get better deals online than it is on the high street; for example, note the disparity in price that can often be found between buying books on the high street to (cheaper) Amazon. There is probably also an argument of convenience to be made; it’s simply often easier to go online and do a quick search for what you want to buy rather than going round the shops.

However, we can also put part of the growth in online retail down to developments in technology. In particular, smartphone apps and mobile versions of sites have played an important part in the growth of online shopping – at the beginning of 2010, purchases using mobile phones made up just 0.4% of all retail sales, but by the second quarter of 2011, this was up to 3.3%, and by the end of this year it is expected to top 12%-15%. One of the benefits of apps, for both consumers and retailers, is that they often allow for greater levels of personalisation. Also, a study by online retail authority IMRG found that nearly a quarter of smartphone users have used their mobile to access websites while they’re out shopping, suggesting that the internet can have an influence on purchases even when it is not directly used to make those purchases.

What can you do?

If you are wondering what you can do to benefit from the recent trend towards online retail, there are a few things you can do as a business. For example, a good quality ecommerce web design that’s easy to use, search and is attractive to consumers is a must-have in this day and age.

Also, as mentioned above, apps and mobile sites are becoming more prominent and more important in the world of online shopping. They can also be important for marketing, so developing an app or mobile site for your business is worthwhile especially as by the end of 2012 over 25% of searches are predicted to be carried out on a mobile device. Considering the above figure concerning people accessing websites on their smartphones, an emphasis on mobile web design must also surely be something to investigate.

Other recent developments, such as QR codes and mobile vouchers, are also interesting possibilities. A study from LinkShare also found that more than 40% of consumers had purchased something online that they would never have bought otherwise due to a well-timed offer or voucher. And, of course, don’t forget your marketing. The internet provides more options than ever before in terms of marketing and promotion; if you want to take advantage of the potential of online retail and in particular mobile ecommerce, then now is the time to do it. Contact us for more information.

By Chelsey Evans

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