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Has mobile penetration plateaued?

26 Aug 2015

London – The latest data from IMRG and Capgemini has revealed that the percentage of online sales completed through mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) may have reached a plateau.

In Q1 2015/16 it was recorded as 42% – and it stayed at that rate in Q2, the first time this has happened.

IMRG and Capgemini have been measuring smartphone and tablet sales penetration since 2010, when just 0.9% of online sales were completed through these devices. Since then it has risen at a remarkable rate, reaching 37% in 2014.

As it was building from a very low base in 2010, the year-on-year mobile sales growth rates in IMRG and Capgemini’s Mobile Index were initially triple-digit and gradually fell to double-digit, as expected with any fast-growing area.

In recent months however we’ve seen signs of normalisation – recording an acceleration in the year-on-year growth rate for several months running compared with the same periods in 2014.

The percentage of visits to retail websites made via mobile devices continues to increase – reaching 60% in Q2 2015/16, up from 58% in the previous quarter.

Tina Spooner, chief information officer, IMRG: “On the surface it looks like sales via mobile devices have stalled, although these figures alone don’t tell the full story. While tablets currently account for almost three-quarters of sales through mobile devices, sales growth through smartphones is rising at around four-times the rate of that through tablets and conversion rates on both device types are increasing.

“Figures from a number of manufacturers show sales of tablet devices have also slowed – it may be that the next mobile growth spurt will be purely driven by increasing consumer confidence in using smartphones for online shopping.”

Alex Smith-Bingham, Head of Digital, Consumer Products and Retail, Capgemini, commented: The rate of mobile growth has slowed down in recent months, but the trajectory of the last five years has been tremendous. Online sales via mobile devices now equate to 42%, which is a remarkable achievement in such a short period of time and is testament to the central role mobile now plays in our daily shopping journey.
“UK retailers have capitalised on the available consumer technology to create an engaging and reliable experience for their customers. As this technology evolves and is enhanced, so too will our shopping experience as I predict retailers will approach the opportunity with the same level of zeal as they have with mobile devices.”

Editors Notes:
The figures above are all taken from the IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking, an additional reporting tool that is open to all participants in the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. The Quarterly Benchmarking tracks over 40 key performance indicators across 7 categories, leading to unique insights into the performance of the UK e-retail sector.
Around 40 retailers currently participate in the IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking, including B&Q, Ben Sherman, Blacks, Brora, Cartridge People, Clarks, Debenhams, Deckers, Dunelm Mill, Freeman Grattan Holdings (Freemans, Grattan, Look Again, Kaleidoscope, Curvissa, Swimear365, Witt International UK), Get The Label, House of Fraser, JD Sports, John Lewis, LK Bennett, M and M Direct, Marks & Spencer, Millets, Moss Bros, New Look,, Schuh, Silentnight, Size, Sparkling Strawberry, Spirit Boutique, The Body Shop and The White Company.
The quarters run as follows:
–    Quarter 1 – February to April
–    Quarter 2 – May to July
–    Quarter 3 – August to October
–    Quarter 4 – November to January
About IMRG
IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) is the UK’s industry association for e-retail. Formed in 1990, IMRG is setting and maintaining pragmatic and robust e-retail standards to enable fast-track industry growth, and facilitates its community of members with practical help, information, tools, guidance and networking. The strength of IMRG is the collective and cooperative power of its members. For more information please visit or email
About Capgemini
Now with 180,000 people in over 40 countries, Capgemini is one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2014 global revenues of EUR 10.573 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business, technology and digital solutions that fit their needs, enabling them to achieve innovation and competitiveness. A deeply multicultural organization, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business ExperienceTM, and draws on Rightshore®, its worldwide delivery model.
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