Medium-sized web retailers without a properly planned mobile strategy could be losing out on as much as £5 million of sales a year according to new research from travel analytics specialist QuBit.
A whitepaper on optimising sites for mobile concludes that not having a mobile strategy is no longer an option, as traffic through the channel rises as smartphone penetration rises.
A sector-by-sector analysis of mobile best practice that rated mobile performance of sites against eight criteria found travel was the top performing vertical.
It achieved an average score of 8.6 ahead of finance and utilities on 7.9%, retail on 7.6% and technology on just 5%.
Travel scored particularly highly for ‘navigation’, ‘local’ and speed which averaged 0.5 seconds, well ahead of the three other sectors.
When QuBit looked at a small selection of non-optimised retail sites it found conversion on mobile seriously lagging desktop with just 0.2 transactions taking place for every one on desktop.
A mobile user of a non optimised site is likely to purchase at one fifth the rate those using desktop devices (see table).
The picture was better for tablets, with 0.87 transactions for every one on desktop. Tablets were also found to generate higher average basket values by 22%, with iPad users generating 25% more page views that desktop browsers.
The whitepaper concludes: “Taking into consideration the volume of traffic and average order value of a medium sized retailer with an online operation and adding in other seasonal variables that can impact revenue, we estimate that every business without an optimised mobile strategy is missing out on £5 million per year, or around 12% of annual revenues.”
QuBit advises a fully optimised strategy requires a single sign-on system and that browsers should be encouraged to log on while browsing, possibly through social networks like Facebook or Google+.
It believes medium sized firms have an opportunity to seize on mobile now as larger players have yet to fully embrace the platform.
The research paper says this “presents an opportunity for a medium-sized player to compete at the top and be first to emerge as a true multi-channel commerce leader”.