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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : June 02, 2011

M-commerce expectations not being met in UK

New figures released by eDigitalResearch show that while use of m-commerce in the UK is increasing, consumer satisfaction with retailers' mobile sites is falling.

by Helen Leggatt

Around half of British smartphone owners now use their devices while shopping, a 20% increase in the last nine months.

Just over 1 in 10 actually make a purchase via their device.

However, there's an expectation among smartphone users that retailers will provide a fully functioning mobile website - an expectation that isn't being met in many cases.

According to eDigitalResearch consumers' expectations of mobile websites have dramatically increased since research results last year; 31% of users now say that quick browsing should be an essential feature of mobile websites, compared with just 20% who said the same last June.

"We are witnessing the dawn of MEcommerce, where the consumer now holds the power in the palm of their hands to dictate to retailers when, where and how they want to shop," said Derek Eccleston, Research Director at eDigitalResearch.

"As more and more people begin to use their smart phones to shop and browse online, it is crucial that retailers begin to operate in their customers' spaces, developing mobile sites and investing in mobile strategies as consumer behavior continues to evolve"

In December last year Mobile Interactive Group tested the m-commerce capabilities of 57 British retailers by attempting to buy a pair of socks.

Most of the attempts were unsuccessful. Just 23% of the retailers allowed purchases to be made via mobile. While 16% had a mobile app available, just 9% enabled users to make a purchase. Even fewer, just 4%, had a mobile optimized transactional website.

The resulting "Sock Report", while slightly tongue-in-cheek, does highlight a serious fact - the clothing retail sector is failing its customers in an increasingly mobile environment.

Tags: ecommerce, mcommerce, mobile Internet, mobile marketing, mobile website, retail website, UK

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