Top retailers struggle to be mobile ready

18/06/2013
IAB research reveals top UK retailers struggle to be mobile and tablet ready. 74% of top spending retailers have a mobile optimised sites, but only 8% have a tablet optimised site.

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Research released today (18th June 2013) by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) reveals that the uptake of mobile and tablet as key marketing components amongst the top 50 UK retailers has not yet been completed.  

The Mobile Retail Audit was carried out between May and June 2013 and looked at a number of different mobile measures, including, optimised sites, apps, optimised search campaigns, and in store Wi-Fi across the 50 retailers spending the most on advertising in the UK.

The findings revealed that although the majority (74%) of top 50 UK retailers had a mobile optimised site only 8% had a tablet optimised site, suggesting that although mobile is now ingrained within many retail brands marketing strategies, there are still fundamental elements missing. Research carried out by the IAB last year* called Mobile and Online Journey Observation (MOJO) showed the importance of retailers having a mobile and tablet strategy, with almost three quarters of tablet users making a purchase on them every week.   The MOJO research also revealed that tablet owners now spend 4.4 hours on average a week browsing retail sites on their tablet.

Out of those brands that had a mobile optimised site, 81% had a transactional functionality to them.  However if we take a look at brands that have an app (62%), just 48% of those apps were transactional, allowing the customer to browse and search for products but not make a purchase.

The research showed that less than half (48%) of the top 50 UK retailers optimised their search campaigns for mobile, highlighting a need for more attention to be paid to this bread and butter marketing channel.

Another key finding is that only 10% of the top 50 UK retailers offer a ‘single user’ approach, meaning that a user’s account worked across both desktop and mobile app. This means that 90% of the retailers reviewed are preventing consumers from having a seamless digital experience.

However, there are sectors within retail which are over performing compared to the average.  Looking at the fashion specific retailers within the study, a full 8 out of 8 had mobile optimised sites, and 7 out of 8 had mobile specific search strategies.

IAB’s head of mobile, Alex Kozloff comments: ‘This research shows that although the fashion specific retailers have grasped the essentials of mobile marketing there is still a large percentage of the top spending retailers that haven’t. With so many consumers now deciding to shop online brands can’t afford to not get this right. The IAB will be reaching out to retail brands specifically over the coming months to help educate them further about how to make the most of mobile.’

*Mobile and Online Journey Observation