January online sales: Smartphone ownership drives surge


Our smartphone addiction is helping to drive e-sales upwards says IMRG-Capgemini

If a tepid holiday season had made any of us think that January sales would be weak, then the latest figures for e-tail in the UK have proved us wrong.  IMRG Capgemini’s e-Retail Sales Index showed sales surging 15% online last month, so much better than the 7% they’d risen by in January 2015.

The reason? Consumer confidence this year compared to an overhang from the madness of Black Friday last year, we’re told.

But also a big factor was, yes, you guessed it, the smartphone. Nowadays, so many more of us have a 24/7 shopping device in our pockets and one with a bigger screen, faster processor and more apps, all of which are also helping to drive the increase in online sales.

In fact, the figures showed smartphone sales surging an amazing 96%, presumably as shoppers tried out the brand new iPhone 6s and Galaxy S6 Edge models they found in their Christmas stockings. Sales via tablets rose too, but by ‘only’ 13%. Now 13% is an eminently a respectable figure but it looked almost like zero when compared to the near-doubling for smartphones.

Can this rate of growth continue? Well, it will slow at some point. But with more smartphone innovations being unveiled this week at Mobile World Congress, more retailers diverting investment into developing their mobile offer, and more of us buying big screen phones, expect smartphone shopping to gather pace for the foreseeable future.

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