Outlining a content marketing strategy for 2014, several industry experts highlighted the keyword “mobile” as the 2013 holiday spending season was winding down.
The IMRG group, with the consultancy firm Gapgemini, recently released a report showing that sales made by mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) soared by a stunning 138% in the UK in 2013.
Looking at the e-retail market as a whole in the UK, the report shows that Britons spent £91bn shopping online during 2013. This figure represents a 16% increase in online shopping over the previous year and makes up more than a fifth of sales in the full-spectrum retail market. Of these online sales, 27% were transactions made on mobile devices. The value of these sales is calculated to have doubled over 2012, to almost £2bn.
Underscoring the role of mobile retail, Gapgemini executive Chris Webster said: “This performance has been fuelled by a variety of factors, not least the huge leaps in mobile technology, which has given a whole new section of society access to the internet and enabled the more tech savvy amongst us to shop while on the move.” By the end of the decade, Webster predicts e-retail to take up 30% of retail sales.
“M-retail” is likely to be the motor. Webster named tablets as the “gadget of choice” for online purchases, largely due to their user friendliness. Tablets accounted for 82% of all sales made via mobile devices in 2012. The tablet is bringing in a wider range of e-retail customers, many never buying anything online before. Webster counts his mother in this new market of online shoppers: “My mother as an example, who happens to be 80, now has an iPad and shops online. Never had a PC; never had a laptop in her life. But now is able to shop online.”
Retailers like Tesco are making highly affordable tablets and helping to democratise their use. UK consumers can now pick up a tablet for about £100. The affordable price and ease of use are creating a market in which more and more people are shopping as they commute to work and when relaxing in the evening.