For the past several months our consultants have noted a rapid increase in demand for product managers with mobile experience, so it was no surprise to when the latest figures from IMRG and Capgemini revealed that a tipping point had been reached in online retail sales, specifically from mobile devices.

“For the first time, IMRG and Capgemini have been able to strip out all mobile data from overall online retail sales, revealing that since Q1 2011, whilst total online retail has averaged around 15% growth, figures excluding mobile have seen a steady decline, flat-lining in Q2 2013. It also reveals that 23% of all online retail sales in Q2 2013 came from mobile devices.

The findings represent a significant change in consumer behaviour, as UK online shoppers migrate from desktops and laptop computers to smartphones and tablet devices. During a roundtable session on Thursday, IMRG and Capgemini presented their findings to a host of leading UK retailers and discussed possible contributing factors to the emerging trend. Those include:

  • Accessibility: with increasingly affordable contracts, more people and a wider demographic of consumers have access to smartphone technology than laptops.
  • Convenience: fast and easy to shop online – one click of the button and shoppers are online and browsing. The ease of using a tablet device means that shoppers can casually browse online whilst engaged in other activity, such as watching television –typically, visits via a tablet result in a higher number of pages per visit due to the leisurely nature of the interaction.
  • Confidence: shoppers are becoming increasingly confident in m-retail, particularly as retailers improve their mobile sites and user experience.”

As a result, the importance of employing an exceptional mobile and e-commerce product manager has become the forefront requirement for many of our market-leading clients with a surge in demand for skills.

Industry View:

Neil Sansom, E-commerce Director at Moss Bros: “The growth figures emphasise the important of mobile commerce now and going forward. The days of just optimising full version sites are over and retailers are now going to have find new levels of skill to optimise mobile as part of the customer journey. Tracking journeys across multiple devices and giving customers relevant content will be a new exciting challenge for Ecommerce and it is sure to be the next frontier for retailers to embrace.”

Kate Smyth, Director of E-commerce at Dune: “The findings from the IMRG study completely agree with what we have been seeing at Dune, mobile and tablets are becoming the dominant devices used to interact with a brand online. Mobile has been our priority for a while and the possibilities are really exciting. We have a mobile version of the site, developed content designed for touch and we use mobile technology in store to help locate stock and reduce queues – but the roadmap for mobile and tablets is key as the devices become part of every household.”

Intelligent People have live Mobile Product Manager opportunities with some of the most exciting consumer brands across eCommerce retail, travel and media.  This includes mobile product strategy, building a mobile strategy/roadmap and mobile transactional experience is generally in very high demand.  Please see the latest jobs section for more information.