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47 percent of top retailers have a mobile site and app: study

In the “M-Commerce Audit” report, Acquity Group looked at the sites from the top 300 retailers as named from Internet Retailer and tested the site across the four main mobile operating systems – iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone. Top performing retailers include Walmart, Tesco and Walgreens.

“The overwhelming takeaway we’ve learned from the study is that the continued rapid adoption of mobility, regardless of industry vertical, signifies the vibrancy of mobility as a vital component of any digital strategy in this hyper-connected marketplace,” said Scott Forshay, mobile and emerging technologies strategist for Acquity Group, Austin, TX.

“While retail continues to lead the way, we are beginning not only to see later stage vertical adoption of direct to constituent mobility among business-to-business organizations, but an emerging increase in focus on utilizing mobility from an enterprise perspective to increase operational efficiencies as well,” he said.

“The market continues to mature at an unprecedented rate and organizations are only now beginning to truly understand the complexities existent in holistic mobility strategies. Mobile 1.0 was about getting to market quickly, often under a certain degree of duress, to take advantage of a shiny new channel. As the market matures, mobility strategies will mature with it, taking into account the full ramifications that this powerful medium represents to the entirety of the enterprise.”

Clear-cut winners
Successful mobile sites were graded on simply having a presence, automatic redirection, homepage rendering, offering a check-out option and also having a mobile application. The mobile app score was based on searches inside the top four operating systems’ app stores.

In addition to being tested over smartphones, the sites were also tested across Apple’s iPad and Android tablets.

Walmart took the No. 1 spot as best mobile site, followed by Tesco and Walgreens. Rounding out the top five mobile sites were The Finish Line and United Airlines. Levis, Avis and 1800Flowers also placed well.

In 2011, Amazon, Walgreens and Barnes & Noble received top honors. Other brands including Armani Exchange, Cabela’s and Gilt Groupe also made the list.

Only Walmart and Walgreens made the top ten list for both years.

Mobile sales generator
According to the report, 52 percent of mobile sites render correctly across all four operating systems. Although this number might seem low, it is a 100 percent year-over-year increase.

Additionally, 95 percent of companies surveyed have a mobile-compatible Web site, which is a 157 percent from 2011.

Forty-nine percent of mobile sites included a downloadable app. From 2011 to 2012, this is an 88 percent increase.

Forty-six percent of retailers surveyed had an iPhone app, which is an increase from 23 percent in 2011. Thirty-three percent of retailers had an Android app, up from 10 percent in 2011.

Although both BlackBerry and Windows Phone represent a smaller number of retailer apps, there is growth, showing that retailers to some degree continue to invest in both operating systems. Nine percent of retailers surveyed have a BlackBerry app, which is an increase from three percent in 2011. Similarly, ten percent of retailers have a Windows Phone app, up from three percent in 2011.

When it comes to tablets, 91 percent of sites accessed on Apple’s iPad redirected to a desktop site and seven percent went to a mobile site. Only two percent of sites tested drove users to a tablet-specific site.

From Android tablets, 71 percent redirected to a mobile site and 29 percent redirected to a desktop site. No sites accessed from an Android tablet led to a tablet-specific site.

“As the study unquestionably illustrates, a mobile Web presence has become table stakes for organizations, regardless of industry vertical,” Mr. Forshay said.

“Native apps should necessarily be focused with a more tailored experience design unique to the capabilities of the device and, as such, we are seeing a slowing adoption curve, but that gap will soon be made up as organizational prioritization for mobility-focused initiatives begin to take front seat in a brand’s overarching digital and experiential strategies.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York