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Get your share of the £920m to be spent on mobiles in December

TradingPub Admin | November 12, 2012

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UK shoppers are set to spend nearly a billion pounds on purchases made via smartphones and tablets in the run-up to Christmas.

IMRG and Capgemini expect £920 million worth of transactions will be conducted via mobile devices between December 3rd and 17th - a fifth of the total £4.6 billion that is likely to be spent by UK shoppers.

This estimate represents an increase of 15 per cent on the same period last year and is indicative of growth in confidence in mobile shopping.

Chris Webster, head of retail and technology at Capgemini, warned businesses to ensure they are ready for the "twin peaks of online sales in early December and in-store sales which follow".

He added that Christmas 2012 will show that it is the "digitally advanced brands", which cater best for mobile users, which will enjoy the biggest profits.

Research conducted with the MIT Centre for Digital Business shows such companies tend to be 26 per cent more profitable than their technologically-challenged competitors.

"We have seen this year that mobile access is a must-have, not a nice-to-have for retailers," Mr Webster added.

Olivier Ropars, senior director of mobile at eBay, said technology has changed the way in which consumers shop for good. He claimed eBay expects three in ten purchases made on its site this Christmas will be made via mobile devices.

Preparing for mobile shoppers this Christmas

Large and small businesses alike should ensure they are adequately prepared for what their shoppers expect from them. These are some of the elements they should consider.

Content - Online shoppers want all the necessary information they are after in one place. This means websites need to invest in quality content - comprehensive product descriptions, clear reviews, helpful buying guides and how-to videos can all help to reduce the risk of people clicking away to competitor sites and completing their purchase elsewhere.

Navigation - The whole point of online shopping is that it is supposed to be convenient, so sites need to be well designed and easy to navigate. If a mobile (or regular) website is fiddly to use or people need to click on several links before reaching the page they are looking for, they are much less likely to convert.

Security -There is nothing that makes shoppers abandon their virtual trolleys faster than a suggestion that their payment details are unsafe, so sites need to reassure them with smooth and secure payment facilities.

Communication - Make sure that you communicate any delivery problems as a result of travel disruption to them promptly and clearly. Social media an be an excellent channel for customer service, but remember that a quick and professional response is expected on Twitter and Facebook.