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Consumers outpace brands in m-commerce adoption

07 February 2012 - 11:09 by Graham Miller

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UK consumers are more familiar with safe shopping online from a mobile phone than some of the most famous brands around, according to a report published by EpiServer.

In the study, a total of 200 ad execs and 1,000 average Brits were asked various questions, designed to work out how in tune they were with various aspects of m-commerce.

The popularity of smartphones in the UK was made apparent as 59 per cent of people reported owning a high-end handset capable of carrying out safe shopping online. Meanwhile almost a fifth now have a tablet PC and three quarters have used their mobile phone to surf the internet over the past 12 months.

A third of respondents had purchased something online and a quarter had used a dedicated retail app to invest in something, rather than heading to an e-commerce site from their smartphone's browser.

Perhaps most important is the news that consumers expect to be spending much more time using the web connections on their mobile phones this year, which will invariably aid the m-commerce market.

Half of consumers said that sites load too slowly on their handsets and 35 per cent complained of trouble with login procedures when attempting to access their favourite retail sites from their smartphones.

Part of the problem is down to the fact that the people who are supposed to be developing the m-commerce platforms for retailers, in order to meet growing demand, are actually falling behind the curve of consumer trends.

Just a fifth of the ad execs said that the companies they represent have a site which is optimised to be viewed on a mobile phone. Only 10 per cent will be creating an m-commerce site or a compatible application in the next year.

This divide between consumer activities and m-commerce availability will have to be closed quickly, otherwise a few major beneficiaries who do adapt will leave rivals in their wake.