The percentage of online retail sales in the UK exceeded 50% for the first time ever in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2015, according to new figures released.
According to data from the latest IMRG and Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking report, smartphones and tablets accounted for 51% of UK online retail sales in Q4 (November to January) – a substantial increase on the 45% recorded in Q3 and up from 40% compared with the same period last year.
The percentage split of total UK online sales between the types of channel for the quarter was found to be; desktop or laptop (49%); Tablets (33%); and smartphones (18%).
Visits to retail websites via mobile devices accounted for two-thirds (66%) of traffic during the quarter, up from 63% in the previous quarter. It was also up from 53% in the same period last year.
The report said the leap in mobile penetration appears to be driven by increased confidence in using smartphones for online shopping. Sales growth through smartphone rose sharply in 2015, while growth through tablets reach a record low in December 2015.
Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, said: “Smartphones have played an important role in the overall online shopping process for a long time – often used for research and comparison on the go – but over the past year they have really started to become a major component of the checkout process too and that is what is driving this leap in mobile penetration.
“In January sales via smartphones grew 95.6% year-on-year for example – over 7 [times] the rate of those via tablets.”