Online research company comScore has published the latest figures from its comScore MobiLens service. It shows that 5.8% of mobile subscribers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK - a total of 13.5 million people - have accessed online retail sites recently (in the three month period ending May 2011). That’s an overall 80% increase from 2010.
In the UK, this figure was up by 118% over the previous year - and among smartphone users it was up 163%. In total, 9.2% of the UK’s mobile users visit online shops.
Jeremy Copp, comScore Europe vice president for mobile, said “Over the past year, online retailers enjoyed strong growth in visitation from mobile devices in Europe, largely driven by the acceleration in smartphone ownership. This trend represents both an opportunity and a threat for retailers. While mobile access offers retailers incremental occasions to engage with customers, it also provides customers the ability to easily compare prices at competing retailers while inside a particular retailer’s store. Retailers must get a firm handle on mobile shopping behaviour if they are to effectively navigate this changing environment.”
Auction sites, such as eBay, proved even more popular than online retail sites. Overall, 6.3% of all mobile users in the ‘EU5’ countries reported having accessed an online auction site, with the UK having 10.5% of mobile users accessing auction sites. The UK also led when it came to online shopping guides, which had 5.1% penetration among all EU5 and 5.7% specifically in the UK.
Generally, most users accessed their chosen sites through a browser rather than via an app. The only exception was the UK’s use of auction sites, where 11.6% of smartphone owners used apps but just 10% used browsers.