The times they are a-changing. In the early days of the internet, there was a certain suspicion surrounding the new technology. For some, the idea of surrendering their bank details and sending them out into the ether in order to make a payment was something that made them nervous. Today, such fears have largely subsided.

Though we are, of course, vigilant to the dangers of cyber crime, we are more confident and have more confidence in the security surrounding online payments. Millions of us make payments online every day, and it’s hard to think back to a time when we had to buy everything in a shop, or at least through mail order.

Now, having got the hang of making online payments through our desktop computers, we’ve moved on to mobiles and tablets. And how. The stats are remarkable, and show a real shift in the way we shop online here in the UK.

Central to the UK’s impressive e-Commerce figures is the growth we’ve seen in the amount of mobile devices owned and used by people to shop online (m-Commerce). According to information from the Internet Retailing (IR) Resource Centre, mobile and tablets now account for almost four out of every ten visits to online stores and in the first quarter of 2014 alone, accounted for 30% of the UK online retail market.

Increasingly, where the UK really stands out, is in its use of smart devices, particularly tablets, with 10.4% of all e-Commerce transactions now taking place on tablets. The digital consultancy, Riverbed, found that 42% of UK digital buyers used such a device compared with 31% in Germany.

UK consumers are also significantly more likely to use their smartphone devices to purchase goods than their European counterparts, though we expect this gap to significantly close when Europeans start making more and more purchases online.

There is strong evidence to suggest that Brits have adapted to M-commerce platforms far quicker than any other nation. For example, 73.1% of consumers aged 14 and older made at least one purchase online last year, compared with 61.9% in the US. Amazon has been quick to catch on to this trend, having now teamed up with London Underground to install click and collect lockers at tube stations.

These are all impressive statistics, and we can expect to see plenty more where this came from going forward. The m-Commerce sector in the UK is expected to continue to grow rapidly, with 36% of the UK’s rapidly growing e-commerce sales predicted to be attributed to mobile devices by 2017 (compared with 26% of e-Commerce sales in the US), according to IR.

So for online sellers, the challenge is to now respond to the new order in the world of e-Commerce. With around a third of all online sales coming from mobile devices, the question is how to capture these customers, and to make sure your site is ready to serve them.

Consumers want to be met with a seamless app that makes everything easy, that’s slick and just… works.

They want a personalised experience which ensures they’re served the right content when they want it.

They want to be rewarded for their loyalty, and to generally have their expectations exceeded.

Get all this right and sales will go up, loyalty will be increased, and your operating costs will go down.

No-one ever said it was going to be easy, but with a big share of the market at stake, is it really worth sticking with your desktop site and crossing your fingers that it’ll just work on a mobile?


If you need help with your international payments, World First can help.

They will repatriate your funds at a better rate than the banks, and can help you expand your business into new areas, setting up local bank accounts for free on the way. Click HERE to find out more.