Rising smartphone penetration in the UK and Germany resulted in a surge in the use of online retail, auction and shopping guide sites in the three months to end-May, figures from comScore show.
Smartphone ownership in Germany grew 63% year-on-year during the period, with the UK close behind on 56%, pitching the markets to the top of tree among the big-five European markets – UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.
comScore’s research shows UK users had the largest appetite for online retail sites, with the number of mobile users accessing the sites up 118% year-on-year overall. The growth is even higher among smartphone users at 163%. Access to auction sites was up 95% overall, and shopping guides grew 71%.
Germany ranked second in terms of overall growth, with the number of mobile users accessing retail sites up 45%, auction sites by 44%, and shopping guides 42%. comScore notes the growth among smartphone users is above the overall average – doubling year-on-year.
The total number of subscribers accessing online retail sites across all five markets hit 13.5 million during the period – equivalent to 5.8% of all mobile subscribers. The number of smartphone owners accessing the sites grew 80% year-on-year.
Jeremy Copp, comScore’s European mobile vice president, says the growth in mobile site accesses is directly inline with higher smartphone penetration. But he cautions that the increasing use of mobile to access online retail sites is a double-edged sword for retailers. “While mobile access offers retailers incremental occasions to engage with customers, it also provides customers with the ability to easily compare prices at competing retailers while inside a particular retailer’s store.”