Four in every 10 UK online retail sales are now completed on tablet or smartphone devices as m-commerce continues to increase in popularity.

Smartphones now account for 40% of all online retail sales

Figures detailing mobile’s growing importance came from IMRG and Capgemini’s fourth-quarter report and include sales that took place between November and January.

The 40% figure is up from 37% in the previous quarter and is the steepest quarterly rise in the rate of mobile retail spending since the fourth quarter of 2013/14, when 32% of online sales were from mobiles.

Around 25% of m-commerce sales were completed through smartphones, compared with 75% through tablets over the past three months. That is a five percentage point rise from the same period a year earlier.

Capgemini retail director at Adgild Hop said: “The quarterly growth of smartphones as a shopping channel may only be slight. It is however very significant.

“Over the last few years, retailers have taken huge steps to improve their smartphone shopping platforms, making them more user-intuitive and more secure for customers. Coupled with greater connectivity, consumers are more confident than ever in using their smartphones to make complete purchases and not just for online window shopping.

“The potential impact of the smartphone on the in-store shopping experience will be a key area of innovation and development in the coming months.”