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Mobile accounts for more than half of Burberry’s web traffic

January 15, 2016 02:18 PM
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Mobile commerce is in fashion for Burberry Ltd. heading into 2016.

Burberry chief financial officer Carol Fairweather told analysts on the luxury fashion brand’s third quarter trading update call that mobile accounts for more than half of the company’s e-commerce traffic. Not only that, but more consumers who visit Burberry’s e-commerce sites on their mobile devices make purchases, she said, though Burberry did not disclose the growth in conversion rates on mobile devices.

Burberry, No. 56 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Mobile 500, does not break out online or mobile commerce sales in its earnings report, but the company said digital outperformed in all regions during the three-month period ending Dec. 31.

“If you look at the pure digital metrics they did outperform our mainline stores,” Fairweather said on the call, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. She credited investments in Burberry’s mobile platform with the retailer’s strong digital performance.

In October, Burberry hired Fumbi Chima away from Wal-Mart Asia to be its chief information officer. The company has undertaken a number of initiatives to make it easier and more appealing for consumers to shop online and via mobile devices. Burberry now offers shoppers the option to buy online, pick up in store at its 219 retail locations throughout the United Kingdom. Fairweather says the company has also made improvements to its online payment mechanisms but did not give details. In two of Burberry’s largest markets for online sales, the United States and the U.K., the company has improved its inventory availability by fulfilling online orders from all of the inventory available across the company.

“Previously if (a shopper) had looked at inventory from that site and (it wasn’t) in stock in our digital warehouse, they wouldn’t have been able to purchase,” Fairweather said. “We’ve opened up these pools in the U.K. and the Americas.”

Data from Top500Guide.com shows that Burberry booked an Internet Retailer-estimated $378 million in online sales through mobile devices in 2015, up 89% from $200 million the previous year. Over the past five years, Burberry’s mobile sales have grown at an average annual rate of 48.7%. It’s estimated that 19% of the company’s overall sales come from mobile devices, with tablets (70%) making up the bulk of that figure and shoppers spending an average of $200 per purchase made on mobile.

For the three months ending Dec. 31, Burberry reported:

  • Retail sales of 603 million pounds ($860.8 million), up 1.0% from 597 million pounds ($852.3 million) last year.
  • Comparable-store sales were unchanged year over year.
  • Sales in the Americas delivered “marginally positive growth,” though the company didn’t provide details.
 

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