Purchases on mobile devices could rise by a staggering 68% this year – a surge many retailers are unprepared for as global smartphone uptake continues to increase.  

The figure was pulled from analysis of over 540 million online purchases between 2013 and 2015 by price comparison and marketing tech group Connexity, who recently acquired Experian’s analytics division, Hitwise.

Connexity owe it partly to a growth in smartphone usage, which it says will account for a third (33%) of all online purchases throughout 2016.

Uptake is expected to peak at the end of the year, where 42% of online orders for Christmas 2016 could be made on mobile, while purchases throughout the year on tablet are expected to “stagnate or decline”.

The iPad, however, still reigns as the consumers choice of buying platform when compared to other devices and OS, with purchases on Apple’s tablet surpassing iPhone and Android phones throughout 2015.

Day-to-day use

Adding to the findings, Hitwise drilled down into which services have seen the most searches on mobile among UK consumers since the beginning of 2015, unearthing banking services to have been the most popular, growing 106%.

Searches across telecommunications (84%), government services (82%) and utilities (64%), have also seen substantial growth in visits from search, rather than via apps.

With increases across the board, retailers and consumer-facing brands need to ensure their services work intuitively on iPhone, Android and iPad, commented Connexity’s vice president of insights, Hayley Silver.

“Prioritise development projects and QA tasks based on your customer experiences and satisfaction by device, OS and browser.

“It is unfortunately common for a new feature or user experience to operate as expected, but still manage to displease or confuse the customer,” said Silver.

While it may be intuitive to focus on honing your in-app purchasing experience, Silver adds that exclusively doing so could “alienate new visitors, thwart conversion or damage your brand”, considering the surging popularity of the mobile web.