Mobile’s role in retail continues to rise across Europe

Nov 12, 2013
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Although showing signs of growth in recent years, Mobile’s role in retail and e-commerce has been fairly limited in Europe versus other markets such as South Korea, China and Japan, where mobile penetration has long been off the charts and m-commerce is becoming the preferred mode of shopping for many (here and here). However, comScore recently offered some strong evidence that mobile’s playing an increasingly important role in Europeans’ shopping experience (study conducted in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom). Here are the key highlights from comScore’s research:

European mobile retail audience is up 43% over the past year

Across the five EU countries studied, 30.1m smartphone users, which is now 20% of the entire smartphone audience, accessed online retail sites and apps using their device. All-in-all, this represented a 43% increase over the previous year. While Germany and the UK continue to have the largest mobile retail audiences, Spain and Italy showed the strongest growth with a 60%+ jump in those accessing retail sites from their smartphone. While France continues to show steady growth, French smartphone users appear to be somewhat slower on the uptake with 3.3m accessing retail sites from their smartphone, representing only 11.7% of the total smartphone audience. Perhaps with 4G coming online and the efforts to improve mobile internet access across France, mobile retail in France will grow more rapidly in the coming years.

1 in 7 European smartphone users engaging in m-commerce, up +37%

Is m-commerce finally beginning to pick up steam in Europe? comScore’s recent study suggests that the trends are certainly positive. As of August 2013, 1 in 7 smartphone users purchased a good or service from their mobile device, bringing the total number of users engaging in m-commerce to 22.8 million from just 16.6 million in August 2012.  The most popular categories purchased were clothing and accessories (5%) and consumer electronics (3.8%) (this obviously excludes app purchases), A mentioned earlier, this clearly lags what we see coming out of markets in Asia, however there is increasing evidence that m-commerce will be an important area of growth for Europe as well.

Taking product pictures is the main in-store activity for French smartphone owners, demonstrating that mobile plays an important role throughout the shopping experience

See our article from yesterday on this one