Leading UK retailers closed to tablet and mobile shoppers, new research finds

Many of the most popular UK stores are ignoring mobile as a mass market opportunity, according to research by global mobile marketing agency, Somo.

Despite UK smart phone penetration surpassing 50% and mobile devices making up around 15% of all online traffic, Somo’s analysis of the IMRG/Hitwise Top 100 Online Retailers shows only 26% of the most popular sites on the web have an iPad app, less than 20% have created Android tablet apps, and only 10% have built a website for tablet browsing.

Some of the other main findings from Somo’s research:

  • PC World, Thomson and BHS are among 20 top retailers with no tablet and smart phone apps or sites
  • 43% have no iPhone app and 63% no app for Android phones
  • Only 57% of online retailers have a website that works on mobile
  • A review of these retailers confirmed that the main consumer complaint was the lack of any payment process for apps and mobile sites

Tesco came out on top as the only retailer that had several iPad commerce, publishing and enterprise apps, and a website that works on tablets and smart phones. Although Top Shop recently stated around two-thirds of its mobile visitors came from tablets, it does not have a tablet site or app for their customers.

Given shopping is the number one activity performed on tablets in the UK, these results show retailers are lagging behind consumers in embracing new technologies, said Somo.

Nick Hynes, chief executive officer at Somo, said: “The astonishing thing is almost half of the top online retailers haven’t even got a mobile website. 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 mobile plays in their customer journey; at the moment they’re missing a trick.”