A new report released by the UK’s Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) shows that m-commerce is one of the most important channels for UK high street fashion retailers.  The study surveyed 200 UK high street retailers and revealed that more than one out of every £10 spent at these retailers come from a mobile purchase, with total mobile sales expected to top £56billion by the end of 2012- an increase of almost 25% from the previous year.  In response to the demand for mobile commerce, 80% of high street retailers already have or will soon release shoppable mobile apps in addition to optimized mobile sites.  Those who already have a mobile app report that almost 20% of sales are driven from it.

Almost half of the population in the UK now use smartphones and retailers are clamoring to serve customers on their mobile devices.  According to the study, 56% of retailers viewed the new sales channel as a main driver of business growth in the coming year and 52% view competitors’ mobile shopping apps or sites as threats to their own business. Andy Lloyd, General Manager at NetSuite, which sponsored the research, says: “Few people would have guessed that m-commerce would move from a nice-to-have to an essential part of your e-commerce sales platform this quickly. Most retailers are now in a race to deliver a mobile channel for their customers before they lose out to the competition.”

Despite tough economic times in the country, almost 90% of UK retailers are optimistic about increasing sales next year- in no small part due to the rapid growth of mobile as a new channel. CEBR’s economist Colin Edwards says in regard to the positive sentiment: “It’s clear that the importance of alternate revenue streams such as mobile commerce can be a crucial component for retail success moving forward.”

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