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Retailers expecting to conduct 50% sales via mobile

A growing number of UK retailers expect to conduct more than half of their online sales via tablets and smartphone devices by the end of this year, according to new research.

E-tail trade body IMRG has published results of its most recent e-Retail Survey, which show that 11% of companies operating in the sector predict 50% of their online sales to be made on a mobile device by the end of 2014.

When the equivalent survey ran last year, just 4% of retailers expected such an influence from mCommerce.

With customers now checking prices online, sharing shopping baskets with friends and updating social media with product news and buying behaviour – often via a mobile device – the impact of mobile on retail sales could grow yet further still.

Shop Direct's eCommerce director Jonathan Wall told Essential Retail last year that he expects all sales made at his company in 2015 to have touched a mobile device in some way, a prediction that is influencing many of the e-tailer's current investment strategies.

Commenting on the IMRG survey, the group's chief information officer Tina Spooner said: "Mobile continues to dominate the e-retail landscape, with sales via mobile devices now accounting for a third of UK e-retail sales.

"The latest survey results also reveal that mobile has a key part to play in the multichannel retail environment, with three-quarters of high street/multichannel retailers now having a mobile-optimised website, compared with just over half of pure-play merchants."

IMRG's results also indicate that nine out of ten fashion retailers now offer international delivery, while 67% of multichannel retailers now provide click & collect facilities, which is up from 54% in October 2013.

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