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Mobile sales jump as confidence in the channel grows

Mobile sales have jumped over the past year as retailers push the channel more aggressively in response to new consumer buying habits.

A new tracking initiative by Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), called the Quarterly Benchmarking Index, found average mobile sales as a proportion of a retailer’s sales have increased from an average of 0.4% at the beginning of 2010 to 3.3% for the second quarter of 2011. Ove the same period, the percentage of website visits via mobiles has increased on average by 5.6% with some retailers seeing up to 12% of website traffic from mobile phones.

More than 20 retailers participated in the index, including Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Matalan. It analysed performance indicators across seven categories.

The figures prove consumer confidence in the channel has grown and mobile sites have become more sophisticated,  leading to lower levels of basket and checkout abandonment. Basket abandonment dropped from 63% to 59% and checkout abandonment moved down from 37% to 32%.

But Capgemini head of retail consulting and technology Chris Webster said the abandonment figures remain too high and retailers seriously need to tackle it.

He said: “If we consider this in a physical sense, we can see how alarmingly high this figure is – if three fifths of shoppers, having chosen and queued, walked away from the till, shop keepers would clearly act.

“Likewise online businesses need to be similarly concerned and follow the example of the major eRetailers, such as Amazon.

“Clarity of pricing and delivery charges is essential, so there are no surprises at the checkout and ‘one-click’ ordering is a very effective way to streamline the process through the checkout.”

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