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Smartphone dominance of international online shopping assessed

04 July 2017 - 10:21 by Paul Tissington

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Just over half of all visits made to sites offering shopping online on a global scale originate from portable gadgets, according to a new study from Sapient Razorfish.

The UK leads the way when it comes to the proportion of consumers who use smartphones and tablets to browse e-commerce portals, with analysts also charting how this has risen over the past couple of years.

Fifty six per cent of visitors to British sites are browsing from mobile devices in 2017, compared with 44 per cent last year and just 35 per cent back in 2015.

The only other country with a similarly steep level of mobile use is Australia, which also has a 56 per cent traffic share associated with smartphones.

Other interesting trends unearthed in this study include the fact that slightly more than a third of Brits tend to begin their search for their next retail purchase on the high street. This leaves 63 per cent to kick start their shopping journey on the web.

Almost half of those questioned said that even when they did visit bricks and mortar outlets, they would happily pull out their portable device of choice and use it to compare prices via safe shopping online so that they can be sure of securing the best possible deal.

The influence of mobiles is not just being felt in the retail sector, but in many other industries as the always-available internet access that smartphones provide is shaping consumer behaviour more than almost any other trend in recent decades.

Retailers can no longer afford to overlook the likelihood that their customers are keeping tabs on multiple rival sites, whether they are shopping online or visiting a store on the high street. This leaves consumers in the driving seat, with mobiles dictating the direction that the industry takes going forwards.