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More Online Retailers Get Mobile Act Together – But Majority of Sites Lack Mobile Compatibility

June 22, 2010, 1:20 p.m.
ABI Research

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There is fresh evidence that more online retailers are getting their mobile acts together. And while that’s a welcome trend for the future of mobile marketing, the vast majority of sites still need to get this sorted out.

The new evidence comes from digital marketing firm Acquity Group, which announced results of its second annual Mobile Commerce Audit . The audit examines Internet Retailer’s 500 list of companies. Key findings this year include:

12% of sites are compatible with mobile browsers, up from 4% last year

11% of sites are optimized for the iPhone, up from 1% in 2009

7% offer downloadable apps for mobile devices, up from 2% a year ago

Interestingly, only a few sites had both a downloadable app and a site that was compatible with a mobile browser, according to the Acquity audit.

Top 10 Best-in-Class

The audit also features an overall Top 10 Best-in-Class for companies deploying mobile initiatives. The 2010 winners are, in order of ranking: Amazon.com, Best Buy, 1-800-FLOWERS.com, Barnes and Noble, Indigo Books & Music, Sears Holdings, Overstock.com, QVC, Target and ShopNBC.com.

Provide a Good Mobile Experience

One of the tenets of mobile marketing is to provide a good mobile experience, and that means offering web sites that render well on mobile devices and browsers. It takes more effort and resources to do this, of course, but why waste the opportunity to engage and convert potential customers when you don’t have to? Thus as we applaud the top 10 and others that get this point, the fact remains that 88% of the audited sites fail the mobile compatibility test.

Moreover, a mere 12% of the sites provide customer-driven mobile commerce – including check-out capability – through mobile browsers accessible on at least one operating system. Here again, the majority of online retailers have a long way to go in this respect.

More Needed on Bandwagon

So, while the trend is improving for helping move mobile prospects through the funnel to conversion, many more online retailers need to get on this bandwagon, and make it easy to complete a transaction from a mobile device. Those online retailers who don’t do this soon will get left behind as it becomes more commonplace this year and in the next few.