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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : July 06, 2016

Desktops not down and out when it comes to ecommerce

While much is made of mobile increasingly being the platform of choice via which to shop, new research from Signal suggests that retailers should not be writing off traditional channels such as desktops and in-store as they turn their attention to festive season strategies and campaigns.

by Helen Leggatt

According to real-time, people-based marketing firm Signal, while consumers may be spending a lot of time using their mobile device, very few currently say that those devices are their preferred channel to shop.

In fact, desktops and laptops remain the platforms on which the vast majority do their online shopping. In a survey of 2,000 consumers in the UK, more than 6 in 10 said they use a desktop most frequently to search for gifts and more than half (54%) use a desktop to make a gift purchase. Shopping in a physical store was the second most popular way to shop with 25% saying they prefer to browse for gifts in stores and 34% prefer to make gift purchases in-store.

Meanwhile, just 6% of respondents said using a mobile phone was their preferred way to shop, rising to just 8% on a tablet. Forty percent of those who have not made a purchase on a mobile device cite security concerns as the reason for not doing so, while others say it is hard to see products on their mobile screens or that entering payment information is difficult. This indicates that retailers should optimise websites for mobile shopping, and create and promote apps which can make browsing and buying more convenient and secure.

Despite Signal's findings that desktops and laptops are still very much the channels of choice for consumers who are browsing and purchasing gifts, the company does acknowledge that mobile appears to be the future of retail. Nearly 1 in 5 of those surveyed said they plan to browse on their mobile phone more this year than last, and 12% plan to make purchases with their mobile phone more this year than last.

"Although mobile isn't consumers' preferred method of browsing and buying yet, 1 in 3 shoppers do use mobile websites or mobile apps to make purchases," said Neil Joyce, SVP and Managing Director, EMEA, at Signal. "Retailers should consider how to take friction out of the mobile experience to better serve consumers on the go, especially as mobile-loving Millennials continue to gain buying power."

Tags: desktop, ecommerce, gift research, in-store, mobile

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