LONDON: Mobile accounts for almost one third of global ecommerce transactions, according to a new report which argues that consumers have long since moved beyond using the device just for research.

The study, State of Mobile Commerce Q4 2014, from performance marketing technology business Criteo is based on an analysis of individual transaction-level data from more than 3,000 ecommerce, retail and travel advertisers globally. Overall, some 30% of ecommerce transactions are now conducted via mobile.

Japan and Korea are the most advanced in this regard, with figures of 49% and 45% respectively. At the other end of the scale are the emerging markets of Russia (20%) and Brazil (10%).

The UK is the leader in western markets, with 41% of transactions from mobiles. The rest are below the global average, led by Spain on 28%, followed by the US (27%), Germany (26%), Netherlands (24%), Italy (24%) and France (20%).

The UK also ranked as one of the most successful countries in the west when it came to conversion rates. With the US operating as a benchmark on 100, the UK scored 123 with Germany on 136.

Japan (202) and Korea (161) were again far ahead of the rest, helped the report said, by the fact that advertisers there have been delivering transactional mobile websites for longer.

Another significant difference between Asia and the West was that the former much preferred to shop via smartphone while for the latter tablets and smartphones were running roughly equal in many markets or, in the case of the UK, tablets were significantly ahead.

Jonathan Wolf, chief product officer at Criteo, said that a lack of information about mobile commerce had led many marketers to underestimate the opportunity it presented.

"Mobile is now about purchasing not just researching," he said, adding that "there are huge opportunities for ecommerce businesses to capture increasing sales via mobile devices, particularly in the retail and travel industries."

For the future he expected that mobile would soon come to account for 50% of all transactions. "Retailers better optimise mobile sites for conversion," he warned.

Data source from Criterio; additional content by Warc staff