Mobile sales have jumped over the past year as retailers push the channel more aggressively in response to new consumer buying habits.

A new tracking initiative by Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), called the Quarterly Benchmarking Index, found average mobile sales as a proportion of a retailer’s sales have increased from an average of 0.4% at the beginning of 2010 to 3.3% in Q2 of 2011. Over the same period, the percentage of website visits via mobiles has increased on average by 5.6 percentage points with some retailers seeing up to 12% of website traffic from mobile phones.

More than 20 retailers participated in the index, including Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Matalan. It analysed performance indicators across seven categories.

Another survey, by Barclays Corporate, found Brits are set to spend £19.3bn a year using their mobile phones and tablets within the next 10 years, compared with £1.3bn today. The survey found that the convenience of amending shopping lists, making payments and arranging delivery times via mobile means food and groceries remain the most popular ‘on the go’ mobile purchase, clocking up sales of nearly £300m this year. By 2021 this figure is expected to top £5bn.

The figures show that consumer confidence in the channel has grown as mobile sites have become more sophisticated,  leading to lower levels of basket and checkout abandonment. Basket abandonment dropped from 63% to 59% and checkout abandonment moved down from 37% to 32%, according to IMRG.

But Capgemini head of retail consulting and technology Chris Webster said the abandonment figures remain too high and retailers seriously need to tackle it.

He said: “If we consider this in a physical sense, we can see how alarmingly high this figure is – if three fifths of shoppers, having chosen and queued, walked away from the till, shop keepers would clearly act.

“Likewise online businesses need to be similarly concerned and follow the example of the major eRetailers, such as Amazon.

“Clarity of pricing and delivery charges is essential, so there are no surprises at the checkout and ‘one-click’ ordering is a very effective way to streamline the process through the checkout.”