Mobile retail sales up 43% in October

Online sales made via mobile phone or tablet device increased by 43% year on year in October as e-retail sales growth strengthened following a sluggish September.

Data from e-tail trade body IMRG and technology consultancy firm Capgemini, compiled for their monthly e-Retail Sales Index, showed that mobile sales jumped 11% on September's figures – as the traditional Christmas spending rush showed signs of moving up a gear.

Overall online sales were up 14% year on year when compared with the same month in 2013, and they grew by 7% versus September. An estimated £8.8 billion was spent online in total across all devices.

Year-to-date retail sales made via the internet are now 17% up on 2013, according to the study.

Meanwhile, multichannel retailers – those with both a store and digital presence – recorded an 18% year-on-year upturn in online sales, but pure-play merchants experienced more conservative growth of 8%.

Alex Smith-Bingham, head of digital for the Consumer Products & Retail division at Capgemini, commented: "Multichannel retailers have been shifting their investments into digital strategies over the last few years, including sophisticated CRM platforms.

"This has enabled them to provide their customers with a joined-up and integrated offering across all of their channels, something which is clearly having a positive influence on sales. As we fast approach the busy Christmas period, it will be interesting to see whether the online-only retailers, which are typically able to compete in terms of cost, will be able to close this gap."

Mobile is expected to play an even more prominent role in online retail sales over the coming years, with a recent study from research group Juniper suggesting that just over two billion mobile phone or tablet users will make some form of mobile commerce transaction by the end of 2017 – up from 1.6 billion this year.

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