‘Retailers under-serving lucrative tablet users’

Retailers are missing out on a significant chunk of the near-£80bn UK ecommerce market by not optimising their websites for the rapidly-growing numbers of tablet users, according to research.  

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The IAB has today (18 June) published a study revealing only eight per cent of the UK’s top 50 retailers have optimised their sites for tablet devices, despite 74 per cent of them optimising their sites for smartphones. 

The study also demonstrates other significant inconsistencies in the top 50 UK retailer’s strategies, with only one-in-ten offering a “single user approach”, meaning users’ accounts worked across desktop and mobile devices.  

Meanwhile, the study also found only 48 per cent of the retailers that have a branded mobile app let customers make a purchase from within the app itself.  

Both of these shortcomings prevent a seamless user experience, according to the trade body.

Alex Kozloff, IAB head of mobile, says the IAB will now lead an education initiative to help retailers better understand the opportunity they are missing out on as a result of the findings.  

“Although some retailers have grasped the essentials of mobile marketing there is still a large percentage of the top spending retailers that haven’t. 

“With so many consumers now deciding to shop online brands can’t afford to not get this right,” she adds. 

Figures from UK ecommerce trade body IMRG valued the sector at £78bn last year, with purchases on mobile devices increasing 300 per cent from the year before. It also claims more than 80 per cent of all smartphone and tablet owners browse their devices while watching TV, with many of them researching products they see advertised on TV. 

Similarly, an earlier IAB study reveals that nearly 75 per cent of tablet users purchase an item on their devices each week and the average UK tablet owner spends 4.4 hours browsing retailers’ sites each week.  

The total number of tablet users in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain is set to hit 135 million by 2017 according to forecasts by eMarketer (see chart on side of page).

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