Online payments on the rise, report confirms

Consumers are increasingly favouring website payments over shopping in high street stores.

Mobile devices have had a dramatic impact on society in less than a decade, revolutionising the way in which we stay in touch with friends and family, while also helping to simplify everyday tasks, like banking.

But there are few areas that have been more heavily influenced by the rise of mobile devices than the retail sector, which has witnessed a dramatic shift in recent times. iPhones and other handsets have helped to dilute the importance of the high street in the UK, where a number of familiar brands have been forced to cease trading.

Instead, an increasing number of consumers have preferred to shop online using card payments, owing to the ease of such transactions.

And this statement is borne out by the latest research from IBM, which found that online payments are more prominent than ever.

In the second quarter of 2012, for instance, online consumer spending was up 15 per cent, with mobile shopping accounting for nearly 20 per cent of overall sales.

Jay Henderson, Global Strategy Program Director for IBM Smarter Commerce, said that retailers must learn to embrace online payments.

“One of the biggest and most obvious trends we got from the latest index is the need to seize this opportunity around mobile,” he remarked.

“We’re seeing retailers come out with versions of their website designed for tablets. Retailers are adjusting their site design by doing things like adding more space between selections on drop down menus to allow for easier finger navigation on tablets,” he added.

The widespread perception that the online sphere is the coming force in the retail industry is furthered by recent research from the Centre for Retail Research.

Indeed, the body found that the rise of online shopping could lead to the closure of one in five high street stores by 2018.