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Technology M-commerce Data

US consumers drag their feet as the UK dominates mobile shopping


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November 17, 2016 | 4 min read

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Latest data has revealed that consumers in the United Kingdom are more smartphone savvy than their American counterparts, at least when it comes to online shopping.

Ve Interactive

US consumers drag their feet as the UK dominates mobile shopping

The data, taken from almost 4,000 online businesses, also reveals that mobile has now replaced desktop in the UK as the preferred method to shop online, accounting for 58.7% of purchases, whereas in the US, the majority – 54.6% - still use desktop.

After countless predictions of mobile overtaking desktop, this data is a strong signal that these longstanding claims are starting to materialise.

This significant trend is drawn from analysis of billions of online browsing sessions by tech company Ve Interactive and further indicates the promising digital maturity of UK m-commerce.

So, why are US consumers dragging their feet in m-commerce?

The US and UK are both extremely strong eCommerce markets, 2nd and 3rd respectively, so why do American consumers seem to be dragging their feet over mobile shopping?

The percentage of people who use a smartphone in the UK is higher than the US, and has consistently risen each year since 2012. Conversely, the percentage using a desktop computer has gradually fallen in that time, further supporting the steady shift in UK buyer habits towards mobile.

However, in the US, the number of people using a smartphone was relatively low until after 2014. (58% in 2014, 72% in 2016). The US is only ranked #25 in terms of internet penetration. The UK ranks #15 in terms of internet penetration with an estimated 89.90% of U.K. citizens using the internet.

Given this reduced exposure (compared to the UK anyway), American consumers are likely to be less comfortable with buying through a mobile device.

What does this say about consumers in general?

Modern consumers expect a strong mobile experience. We are now ever-connected and always plugged in, with instant access to billions of websites and products at the tap of a screen.

Consistency across all touch points, be it mobile, tablet or desktop, needs to cater for these heightened expectations. Yet for brands there is much more left to do in converting this mobile traffic into tangible sales.

While mobile browsing has overtaken desktop, in terms of actually registering sales/conversion rates, it still has some way to go.

This data is of particular interest with Black Monday and Cyber Monday coming up at the end of this month – showing the potential for retailers who can optimise their mobile offering to capitalise on this sway in consumer habits. This is not only a red letter weekend for all online retailers, but also fires the starting pistol for the Christmas rush, so in short, the onus is firmly on brands to turn this incoming mobile traffic into mobile sales.

Cyrille Vincey, Chief Data Officer at Ve Interactive

For enquires please contact Danny Bartlett, Head of PR and Social Media at Ve Interactive.



Twitter: @VeInteractive

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