Smartphones and tablets have quickly become a ubiquitous part of everyday life. You only have look around you on the train or in a coffee shop to see that people constantly use their phones to update social media, browse the internet, send texts and talk to friends, family and business associates.

As mobile technology continues to grow in sophistication, a new study has revealed that an increasing amount of consumers are also opting to use these devices for online shopping.

According to data published in the latest IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Report, around 52% of traffic to retail websites comes from smartphones and tablets. This accounted for more than a third of sales during the second quarter of 2014. The clothing and apparel sector has seen a particularly impressive 40% rise in mobile sales.

While 18% of total sales were attributed to smartphone accounts, the other 82% came through via tablets.

On top of this, checkout abandonment for mobile commerce was recorded at a record low of 27%.

Landmark growth in mobile retail sales

Mobile sales from May to July amounted to £24.2 billion, with £8.7 billion spent via smartphones and tablet devices.

Tina Spooner, Chief Information Officer at IMRG, said: “With over half of all e-retail traffic now coming via smartphones and tablet devices, the latest Quarterly Benchmarking results reveal a huge landmark in the growth of mobile commerce

“Considering that as recently as 2010 mobile visits to e-retail sites accounted for less than 3% of traffic, this latest milestone represents staggering growth of 2000% over the past 4 years.”

Retailer perspective

Alex Smith-Bingham, Vice President and Digital Services Leader at Capgemini, cited the comfort and convenience factor connected with mobile shopping as a major reason behind these new figures.

He said: “Whether you’re shopping on your tablet from the comfort of your couch or on your smartphone during your daily commute, mobile offers the customer unparalleled convenience. It’s no wonder then that we’ve hit such a significant milestone in a relatively short period of time.

“As retailers further develop their m-commerce platforms and as the technology becomes increasingly more sophisticated, we’ll see the role of the desktop in our day-to-day shopping cycle diminish. It will be very interesting to see just how wide the gap between mobile and traditional e-retail will become in 12 months’ time.”