Only 57% of top British online retailers have mobile-compatible websites; 43% lack an iPhone app, 63% lack an Android app, finds study

LOS ANGELES , March 6, 2012 () – According to a study by independent mobile marketing agency Somo Ltd. that examined the U.K.’s top 100 retail brands in terms of mobile-readiness, only 57% of top British online retailers have mobile-compatible websites, Internet Retailing reported Feb. 29.

For the 57% of online retailers that did offer mobile-compatible websites, the main customer complaint involved a death of payment processes for their mobile sites and applications.

According to the agency’s original analysis of the IMRG/Hitwise Top 100 Online Retailers, only 10% of the retailers included on the list had a website designed for tablets, less than 20% of retailers had created applications for Android tablets and only 26% of retailers had created an iPad application.

Somo found that 43% of retailers did not offer an iPhone app, and 63% did not offer an Android app.

Tesco Plc. was the only retailer whose website worked on both smartphones and tablets, and offered several iPad commerce, enterprise and publishing apps.

BHS Limited, PC World Communications Inc. and the Thomson Travel Group were among the 20 top British Internet retailers that offered neither tablet nor smartphone applications or websites.

Fashion chain TopShop Inc., which recently announced that roughly 2/3 of their mobile visitors were using a tablet device, has neither a tablet website nor a tablet application.

Smartphone penetration in the U.K. has exceeded 50%, and mobile devices account for roughly 15% of all Internet traffic.

“The astonishing thing is that almost half of the top online retailers haven’t even got a mobile website,” Somo Chief Executive Officer Nick Hynes said, “This is very basic stuff. A well-built site does retailers the world of good, allowing customers to make shopping comparisons on their phones while in store, and browse leisurely at home on their tablet. These companies have to start looking at the role that mobile plays in their customer journey; at the moment they’re missing a trick.”

The primary source of this article is Internet Retailing, London, England, on Feb. 29, 2012.

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