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There was strong online shopping growth globally during the 2013 Christmas shopping period according to Rakuten Marketing's affiliate arm, Rakuten LinkShare, which reported not only double-digit growth for purchases via desktop computers but also unprecedented growth in sales via smartphones and tablets. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

LinkShare's results for the period showed a 31% increase in same-store sales in the UK year-on-year and a 30% increase in same-store sales in the US. At the same time, same-store sales completed via desktops increased by 24% in the US and 10% in the UK, while tablet devices accounted for 81% of mobile sales in the UK and 70% of mobile sales in the US. Overall, sales via smartphones increased by 94% in the UK.

"Industry data reveals that twice as much was spent on mobile devices in the UK in December 2013 than in December 2012, and these results reflect an appetite among consumers for m-commerce," said Mark Haviland, managing director for Rakuten Marketing Europe.

In 2013 the market saw a mobile boom, with shoppers increasingly choosing to use tablets and smartphones to buy goods, rather than visiting physical stores. This, the company asserts, is a warning to retailers that it has become critical for them to offer a strong and seamless multichannel offering.

"Shoppers are either buying on the go via smartphone, or engaging with brands on their tablets at home. It's imperative that retailers work to target these shoppers to continue success in 2014," concluded Haviland.