Nearly a third of European shoppers using mobile internet, report finds

Retailers are being urged to get their mobile e-commerce strategies right as research shows a growing trend towards purchases by mobile devices.

The study based on interviews with 1,500 consumers in six European countries – France, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden – found that almost 30% are using, or plan to use, mobile devices for some kind of e-commerce. 

Within this group there is a 10% core of respondents that are already using their mobile/smart phones for retail search, price comparison or online purchasing. 

Another 20% of respondents are planning to do this in the future, so a full third of respondents will be using the mobile channel in the short-term for e-commerce.

Some 47% had booked online travel, while 59% had used the internet for more ‘traditional’ online items such as books and magazines.

More than 60% of respondents purchased clothes and footwear online making this the largest category of spend in the survey.

The study, commissioned by cloud optimisation services provider Akamai Technologies International also found that on average multi-channel shoppers spend 15-30% more than someone who only uses one channel.

It also found that 30% of respondents indicated an increase in online spending this year with the fastest growing e-commerce market in Europe being Spain, where 44% of consumers reported a willingness to spend more online.

The group of highest spenders online in Europe tend to be aged between 35 to 54 years.

The majority of consumers expect a website to load in less than four seconds, and in some cases two seconds, otherwise (around 70%) will switch to another, probably competitive, website. 

Akamai international marketing vice-president Martin Haering said: “These findings show that consumers in Europe are pushing the edges of e-commerce, demanding greater performance from their online shopping experience. 

“With increasing numbers of shoppers going online with mobile devices, it is important for retailers to get their mobile e-commerce strategies right the first time and the need for security, website performance, scalability and availability has never been more important to underpin success in the online marketplace.”

Ivano Ortis, research director at IDC Retail Insights, which carried out the research, said: “E-commerce sales keep growing – despite the recession online sales grew by over 20% in 2009 – and the market is rapidly diversifying.”

“Basket size is increasing, as is the level of services and support that customers are expecting from e-commerce websites.”

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