Research from martech company Ve Global (Ve) has revealed that Britons using their smartphones to make purchases online in the lead up to Christmas shopping period is up a massive 44% compared to last year.

Ve also predicts mobile sales will rise to 50% during the Black Friday weekend, which is often classed as the start of the Christmas shopping season. Last year 36% of UK retail purchases over the Black Friday weekend occurred via a smartphone, up 12% on the Q3 average.    

In addition, Ve found that the growth in sales is followed by a further 6% increase in browsing via smartphone, placing mobile as the dominant channel for browsing in the UK.

“Ve’s data indicates that UK retailers are beginning to meet the mobile-first expectations of the modern online shopper and in good time, given the continued demise of the desktop PC and even the tablet – all of which are fading towards irrelevance as the mobile experience improves,” commented David Marrinan-Hayes, CEO of Ve Global.

“This bodes very well for brands in the run-up to Black Friday and the whole of the crucial ‘golden quarter’, as they look to capitalise on the annual pre-December rush. It also presents marketers with an opportunity to engage the always-on customer; a key demographic who carry and regularly check their mobile devices,” continued Marrinan-Hayes.

Personalised campaigns a must

In contrast, sales made via desktop PCs have dipped below 50% for the first time, with purchases on tablet devices decreasing 5% compared to last. Marrinan-Hayes believes brands must build campaigns that interact in a personalised way if they want to retain customers using those channels.

“This means investing in greater levels of personalisation and delivering onsite experiences that are contextually relevant to each user,” commented Marrinan-Hayes.

The study examined 50 million online browser sessions across 3,000 retail websites during Q3. 2017 and the same period this year.