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Mobile shopping doubles

17 January 2014 - 11:41 by Paul Tissington

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Last month the number of people using smartphones and tablets to carry out safe shopping online was twice that of the same period in the previous year, with m-commerce purchases accounting for almost six per cent of the total retail market in the UK.

This is according to new figures from IMRG, which revealed that £3 billion in sales were made, thanks to people splashing out via their portable gadgets.

Spokesperson, Chris Webster, said that m-commerce is going to become even more important over the course of 2014 as mainstream users latch onto the benefits of shopping online while they are on the move, or sitting on the sofa with a tablet in hand.

Webster also pointed to the promising growth in use of click & collect services, which are helping high street retailers to remain relevant and combine safe shopping online with visits to real world stores.

In 2013, the total e-commerce market generated £91 billion in sales in the UK, which was a 16 per cent rise compared with 2012. Growth of 17 per cent could be achieved in 2014 according to analysts, which means that it will hit £107 billion by the end of the year.

Retailers are having to play catch-up as more and more people choose to browse for products online, even if they then make purchases in-store or arrange to collect products locally.

The logistical challenges this presents are requiring significant investment to tackle, according to analysts, but with tablets becoming more affordable and m-commerce leading the way for sales growth, there is no escaping these major changes.

Tablets may generate 80 per cent of all m-commerce sales, but smartphone retail activities are growing at a more rapid rate and this could redress the balance in 2014, according to the Guardian.