Increase in m-commerce technology for retailers in the UK

02 November 2011 | Kavit Majithia


Research conducted by Virgin Media Business showed many flagship stores in London’s retail shopping hub Oxford Street are investing in next-generation technology to improve customer’s shopping experience over the Christmas rush period.

The UK-based internet company found that many of the larger stores in the UK are moving away from e-commerce solutions to provide m-commerce services, with 46% of retailers already offering a mobile app. In addition to this, online touch screen capabilities were available in 23% of flagship stores, to ensure an efficient and safe shopping experience.

One of the largest stores in the area, Niketown, has already implemented a payment service via a mobile device, and others are offering customers the ability to order and pay for services online, and then collect the products in store.

Phil Steward, director of customer services at Virgin Media Business believes high bandwidth connectivity options for UK retailers provide an “essential USP in a highly competitive market”. He continued: “By making the right technology decision, both in store and online, both retailers and consumers stand to get the benefits from this new digital era.”

The research follows the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Google’s announcements last month that m-commerce services are now growing at a faster pace than traditional shopping, with total retail search volumes increased by 35%in the third quarter of the year. This is part of a larger shift from consumers, which has seen its mobile search for retail offering growing by 168% year-on-year, according to the BRC and Google.

Virgin Media Business estimated last year’s online Christmas sales brought in £2.8 billion, up 44% from the same period in 2009.