The increase in spend through online channels has been rising steadily, and is of itself not particularly remarkable. However, recent data contained in the latest IMRG Capgemini e-retail report has demonstrated further insight into this trend, and concluded that e-retail has now reached a ‘tipping point’.

While spend online has increased, the latest report from IMRG and Capgemini shows that it is solely Mobile driving this growth. Without the effect of Mobile spend, online sales (eg through desktop computers) is actually flat-lining. To highlight this, the report states that in Q2 2013, 23% of all online retail sales were from Mobile devices.

Of particular interest is that this is the first time that the report has separated Mobile spend from online spend as a whole. commented on the importance of viewing the figures from the perspective of the entire customer journey, rather than simply which device the purchase comes through – for example, when a customer researches a purchase before physically buying in a store. pointed to the affordability and subsequent availability of devices such as tablets and Mobiles compared to desktops, as a reason for increasing sales through Mobile devices. Retail Week commented on the return to ‘double digit growth’ (17%) following the heat-wave and subsequent jump in high street sales in July.

Another aspect of this trend is the changing form of devices; tablets, smartphones and desktops are moving towards uniformity. The definitions of each device must be dynamic if insight is to continue to be relevant. What is clear is that the user experience for consumers is improving to the extent that they are becoming more comfortable and trusting in utilising this channel. 

As a result of this growth in Mobile, the IMRG Capgemini forecast for the remainder of 2013 has moved from 12%-15% in online channels.

Chris Webster, VP of Consumer Products and Retail at Capgemini, commented: “As e-retail becomes ubiquitous, the annual growth in the Index has been slowly declining – 18% in 2010, 16% in 2011 and 14% in 2012. However, similar to the impact the introduction of broadband had on the Index in 2006, the access to new technology and connectivity has supported an increase in the rate of growth once again.

The fact that more people are using Mobile devices reflects the huge strides retailers have made in user experience and accessibility in m-retail sites.  However, we are still only scratching the surface of the ways we will use Mobile devices to interact with digital services in our daily lives.  Finger print identification available on the latest smartphones will increase trust and personalisation of these digital services.