LONDON: M-commerce in the UK has reached a tipping point after new industry data revealed that, for the first time ever, more than half of visits to UK retail websites now come from mobile devices.

According to the latest IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Report, 52% of site visits are made via a mobile device while 36% of UK online sales are completed on a smartphone or tablet.

That figure rises to rises to 40% for clothing and apparel retailers, the Retail Times reported, and tablets account for 82% of all sales completed on a mobile device.

Overall, some £24.2bn was spent online between May and July 2014, of which £8.7bn came from purchases made via mobile devices.

Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG, said the results clearly showed that retailers' investment in mobile optimisation had encouraged consumers to adopt mobile devices as a shopping platform.

"With over half of all e-retail traffic now coming via smartphones and tablet devices, the latest Quarterly Benchmarking results reveal a huge landmark in the growth of mobile commerce," she said.

"Considering that as recently as 2010 mobile visits to e-retail sites accounted for less than 3% of traffic, this latest milestone represents staggering growth of 2,000% over the past four years," she added.

The report also found that visitor bounce rates rose slightly to 28% in Q2 2014 from 25% in the previous quarter, which it suggested was most likely due to increased mobile traffic.

Checkout abandonment, a key concern for retailers, fell to a record low of 27% in Q2 compared with 36% in the previous quarter, the report added.

Alex Smith-Bingham, vice president and digital services leader at Capgemini, noted that mobile shopping offers customers "unparalleled convenience" and that the trend is likely to continue over the coming year.

"As retailers further develop their m-commerce platforms and as the technology becomes increasingly more sophisticated, we'll see the role of the desktop in our day-to-day shopping cycle diminish," he said.

"It will be very interesting to see just how wide the gap between mobile and traditional e-retail will become in 12 months time."

Data sourced from Retail Times; additional content by Warc staff