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75% of leading online stores closed to tablet shoppers, while 20% have no mobile access

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Independent mobile marketing agency Somo claims that its own research into the mobile-readiness of the UK’s top 100 retail brands finds that despite UK smartphone penetration surpassing 50%, and mobile devices making up around 15% of all online traffic, many of the most popular UK stores are ignoring this mass market opportunity.

Somo’s original analysis of the IMRG/Hitwise Top 100 Online Retailers shows that 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.

Somo’s research finds that PC World, Thomson and BHS are among 20 top retailers with no tablet and smartphone apps or sites, while 43% have no iPhone app and 63% no app for Android phones. Only 57% of online retailers have a website that works on mobile and 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 smartphones. Although TopShop recently stated that around two-thirds of their mobile visitors came from tablets, they do not have a tablet site or app for their customers.

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

Nick Hynes, Chief Executive Officer at Somo, explains: “The astonishing thing is that 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 that mobile plays in their customer journey; at the moment they’re missing a trick.”

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