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Mobile inches closer to e-commerce dominance

20 December 2017 - 11:10 by Graham Miller

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The latest figures from PCA Predict have shown that carrying out safe shopping online from portable devices has become more common this year, but remains trumped by desktop machines in terms of overall sales.

Retail Week reports that 49 per cent of people who made an e-commerce purchase over the course of 2017 did so from a smartphone or tablet. Fifty one per cent relied on a PC or laptop, meaning that mobile has increased its grip on the market by a single percentage point compared with 2016.

The balance may have tipped in the final weeks of the year as Christmas is expected to prompt an explosion in mobile shopping, fuelled by people visiting their families and using their ample time sitting on the sofa to browse and buy from their smartphones.

On Christmas Day itself last year, the majority of web traffic was generated by mobile devices, with safe shopping online being one of the top activities among users. Study spokesperson, Chris Boaz, believes that this trend will continue in 2017, with the convenience of browsing from portable gadgets meaning that consumers can still spend time with loved ones while also snapping up time-limited offers.

The fact that the growth in mobile use for online shopping has been relatively small this year is arguably a little surprising, but does suggest that it will not be long before the balance is tipped and desktop purchases are overwhelmed.

Analysts also found that when assessed on a week by week basis, Mondays were typically the biggest periods for online shopping this year, with people making purchases while at work. This may explain how desktop computers have managed to hang onto their share of the market for longer, while mobiles are making gains at slower rates.