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UK leads Europe in m-commerce uptake

10 November 2010 - 09:39 by Mike Price

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The number of consumers using their mobiles to shop online in Europe is growing rapidly, but figures show that the UK is leading its neighbours when it comes to safe shopping online using m-commerce platforms.

Research from Akamai shows that 30 per cent of European citizens currently use or have plans to use their mobiles to carry out safe shopping online. Ten per cent have previously bought an item using their mobiles while a fifth are going to get in on the act in the coming year.

The report backs up recent stats gathered by UK mobile network provider Orange, concluding that most people prefer to shop using a handset's native browser rather than from within an individual application created by a specific retailer. In the UK 70 per cent of online shoppers prefer the non-app route, while the French are close behind with 68 per cent holding the same opinion.

Akamai's Martin Haering said that retailers need to target their m-commerce offerings to the growing number of consumers who are harnessing the power of smartphones. Amongst the key features of an ideal m-commerce platform, Mr Haering ranks security and usability as of particular importance.

The study encompassed questions about both m-commerce and e-commerce and it found that Spain is seeing the most rapid growth in terms of average spends, with 44 per cent of consumers saying that they will be shelling out more via online retailers than in the past over the next 12 months.

In general it is those consumers who sit in the 35-54 age group who spend the most online each year, with average outlays sitting at over £1300 according to the survey.

Sixty two per cent of those questioned said that they shopped for clothing online, with 47 per cent booking holidays on the internet. Analyst Ivano Ortis pointed out that despite the recession, customers kept the e-commerce market buoyant and increased purchases by 20 per cent last year.