Nine out of ten purchases online still made via desktop

11th Jun 2015

New research from the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) and states that desktop computers are still predominantly the go-to device for UK consumers making purchases online, with 89% of transactions still made via a PC or laptop.

The figures seem to contradict data from Criteo last December that said mobile devices were accounting for 30% of all ecommerce purchases, and Gartner’s February report Predicts 2015: Digital Marketers Will Monetize Disruptive Forces that stated it expected this figure to rise to as much as 50% in the next two years.

However, Criteo’s data may have been an anomaly due to inflated figures around the Christmas period. Conversely, Klarna’s chief consumer business officer, Erik Engellau-Nilsson recently conceded that many UK retailers had yet to remove vital barriers associated with their mobile platform in order to make mobile shopping easier, and that he expected the transaction rate to increase substantially once the format became increasingly monetised.

Mobile is still predominantly used as a research tool according to the CRR research, which states that smartphones and tablets are now used for one-third of purposes in the purchase journey. 20% of consumers shop on their smartphones regularly and 14% using phones as their primary shopping device.

And it is this aspect of the mobile purchasing journey that Claire Davenport, managing director for believes retailers would be better served focusing on at present, as opposed to the end-to-end buying cycle, which very few retailers have yet to crack:  

“The ‘always-on’ mentality of today’s shopper means they are passively engaging in shopping at various points of their day,” says. “In particular, there’s a clear opportunity for retailers to spark a decision to purchase among customers who are travelling to a shopping destination.

“With bad connection on mobile posing the main issue for 68% of shoppers, and technical issues a problem for more than half (54%), retailers should be slimming down mobile content and improving load times to drive purchases. By promoting sales and offers and providing effective, easy-to-find store information on mobile, retailers can cut through the competition and connect with consumers as they prepare to hit the high street.”

The research states that ‘intent to spend’ increases for those shoppers en-route to the high street as they shift from passive discovery mode during a normal commute to a more engaged research state. 16% of shoppers will research vouchers and discount codes before making an in-store purchase, while 15% will make price comparisons before purchase and 20% will read product reviews.

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