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December 14, 2012

UK leads the way in mobile data and internet shopping: expert reaction

CBR rounds up expert opinions after Ofcom revealed that the UK is the leading country for internet shopping and the top European country for mobile data usage.

By Tineka Smith

Internet shopping is now more popular in the UK than any other major country, with mobile devices driving the phenomenon. Ofcom revealed that UK consumers now spend an average of £1,083 per year on online shopping.

Ofcom’s research also reported that 16% of all UK web traffic came from mobiles and other connected devices.

Tony Grace, COO of Virgin Media Business, told CBR
"It’s no surprise that Ofcom’s report identifies internet shopping as being more popular in the UK than any other country. The rate at which technology is developing – with the introduction of 4G and more and more people carrying a smart phone – means the shopper has loads more options now than they had just five years ago. Shoppers can now buy almost anything they want – 24 /7 – and at the click of a button without being overwhelmed by long lines at the check-out.
"Retailers on the high street must look at new ideas to tempt the shopper back through the door in order to keep up with the online revolution. Stores have recognised the fact they need to offer a quicker, sleeker and better value service to keep up with their digital rivals. There are some savvy retailers out there who are utilising mobile shopping apps, virtual fitting rooms, and using social media to entice customers. Integrating a mix of new technology will help to deliver smarter offers to customers and tempt them away from the computer.

"It’s going to be interesting to watch how the mobile, online and retail spaces come together and interact. It’s highly likely that we’ll see more stores adopting a multi channelled approach throughout 2013."

Vanessa Barnett, technology and media lawyer at Charles Russell LLP
"Ofcom’s survey shows us that the UK is leading the way in Internet shopping – and that the way we interact with shopping is changing. Mobile allows us to be connected 24/7 and undertake much more ‘one the fly’ shopping. In fact this is also backed up by Google’s research in the summer showing a spike in spontaneous shopping happening mainly on mobile devices. The scope of online shopping also shows that the UK is a great place to be a retailer wishing to harness technology. In the wealth of sometimes downbeat news that we see, this really is a good news story and an endorsement of our regulatory environment for ecommerce and technology.

Mark Haviland, Managing Director of Rakuten LinkShare
"The fact that Brits are spending more online compared to the rest of the globe shows our huge appetite for internet shopping and brands can clearly see the value of the online and mobile channels as a result. The huge amount of mobile web traffic reveals that consumers are taking advantage of their connected devices to browse and buy. While it is important to have a mobile strategy in place, marketers and brands should also remember that the mobile purchase journey does not exist in isolation. A consumer will often go on a non-liner journey while making a decision to buy, which could touch the online, in-store and mobile worlds multiple times. Brands must keep this purchase journey in mind and ensure the consumer receives a seamless shopping experience. Brands can work with a CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) network to ensure they encourage consumers to act by offering engaging and powerful content, both online and on mobile, encouraging them to take that final leap and buy, whichever channel they are on."

Adam Stewart, Marketing Director of
"Interesting to read the report from Ofcom today stating that 16% of all web traffic in the UK was from mobiles, tablets or other connected devices – more than any other European country.

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It’s certainly a trend that we’ve seen echoed on, where we have seen nearly 120% increase in traffic from mobile and tablet devices over the last 12 months. We also find that Mobile browsing surges on Monday morning from 7-8am and the pattern of browsing from bed or on the early morning commute is echoed throughout the week, with the highest levels of mobile browser activity occurring between 6 – 8 a.m. Data also shows that shoppers are most likely to click through on deals via their mobile during this early morning timeframe. "


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