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M-commerce aids Shop Direct sales surge

14 January 2013 - 11:58 by Graham Miller

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The Shop Direct retail group saw overall sales up by five per cent in the month and a half prior to Christmas 2012, during which millions of Brits were turning to safe shopping online to get their retail fix.

This may seem like a relatively modest expansion, but when you look at the proportion of sales that were made via mobile devices, a different story is revealed.

Eighty per cent of all Shop Direct sales were web-based during Christmas 2012, compared to 74 per cent during the same period in the previous year.

Of this proportion, 28 per cent came from smartphone handsets and tablet devices. This means that m-commerce sales were up by 150 per cent annually, according to Retail Week.

Meanwhile, the wider impact of mobile usage has also been assessed by Shop Direct, with 37 per cent of e-commerce interactions originating from a portable gadget.

This represents a growing trend amongst UK consumers, which sees shoppers scoping out products from a smartphone during the day and then finalising their purchase from a laptop or PC later on.

CEO, Alex Baldock, said that people are not only using mobile phones and tablets to carry out safe shopping online in increasing numbers, but are also willing to place bigger orders and buy more expensive products with portable handsets.

Interestingly enough, Shop Direct also found that across all of its retail brands, it was mobile handsets that topped the list of best sellers. Even kids are getting in on the act, with educationally-oriented tablets, like the LeapPad 2, managing to knock the Furby off the top spot in the Christmas toy rush.

Online shopping continues to eclipse other areas of retail, but it seems that m-commerce is also growing its influence as a means to make purchases.