November 7, 2013, 10:04 AM

Catalogs get more mobile in Europe

31% of visits to digital catalogs in Europe stem from mobile, a vendor says.

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Several U.S. retailers have launched mobile iterations of the catalogs they send to shoppers’ homes. Catalog Spree, which provides digital versions of retailers’ catalogs that consumers can browse and shop from an iPad app and iPhone app, counts such e-retailers as lingerie merchant Bare Necessities and flash-sale retailers Fab.com and One Kings Lane among its clients.

New research, however, suggests that viewing digital versions of catalogs on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is growing beyond U.S. borders as well.

Viewing digital retail catalogs via smartphones and tablets is growing quickly in Europe, according to new research from Publitas, a publisher of digital catalogs based in the Netherlands. In Q3, 12% of the six million average monthly visits to the digital catalogs Publitas operates on behalf of its clients stemmed from smartphones; that represented a 106% increase in consumers using smartphones to access these catalogs from a year earlier. 19% stemmed from tablets, and that represented a 90% increase in tablet traffic compared with Q3 2012. Meanwhile 69% of digital catalog visits hailed from PCs, but those visits were up only 5% from a year earlier.  

“These numbers confirm that mobile is taking off in e-commerce, and that mobile-friendly catalogs are a must for retailers,” says Guillermo Sanchez, CEO of Publitas. “This is why we’ve spent so much time optimizing our digital publications to make sure they work seamlessly on iOS and Android devices. More and more retailers understand the importance of reaching mobile users.”

More than 300 national and international retailers use Publitas to publish their catalogs, magazines and weekly ads online. Its clients include A.S. Watson Group, parent of several health and beauty, food, electronics and wine retailers, and Blokker Holding, which operates chain stores across several countries.

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