Retailers losing out on £4bn in revenue due to poor mobile sites

UK retailers’ “poor” mobile web strategies mean they are missing out on up to £4bn of revenue as smartphone users are detracted from their sites.

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Weaknesses in mobile site performance in areas such as “thumb friendliness”, redirection from desktop to mobile versions, speed and customisation according to location are costing individual retailers as much as 12% in annual revenues, according to a report from technology solutions company QuBit.

Such “basic errors” could be remedied with “minimum investment”, says the report. Currently just 4.8% of retailers have websites optimised for the mobile web, says Graham Cooke, CEO of QuBit.

The percentage of retail website traffic coming from mobile devices has tripled year-on-year to 15% in 2011.

Of that percentage, tablets are now a major driver of mobile commerce growth, generating 25% more page views than desktop users and, for those who go on to purchase, a 22% greater average order value. However, the greater order value could be skewed because at present the majority of tablet owners are from wealthier demographics.

Google predicts that more people will use mobile phones than PCs to access the internet by 2013, while PayPal estimates that consumers will spend £2.5bn on m-commerce in 2016, up from £438m in 2011.

QuBit’s eight areas of analysis for retailers to identify weaknesses mobile site performance

Mobile redirects – whether the site is specifically made for mobile

Visibility – size of fonts

Seamlessness – whether the site is generally easy to browse

Thumb friendliness – ease of use of buttons by using thumbs to click

Local – content tailored to geo-location

Navigation – clear layout

Ease of conversion – clearness of signposting on the site and obvious call to actions

Speed – how quickly the site loads

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