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Pureplay online retailers failing to adapt to mobile, warns report

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Multichannel retailers are quicker to adapt for mobile than their pureplay counterparts, according to a new report released today by IMRG . The report, which explores the impact of advancements in mobile technology on consumer behaviour and retail strategies, has revealed that just over half (53%) of online-only and catalogue retailers have a mobile-optimised website, compared with nearly three quarters (74%) of multi-channel retailers.

The report, titled M-Commerce: Paradigm shift or subtle change of course? and presented by IMRG’s Chief Operations & Policy Officer Andrew McClelland at a retail event hosted by Facebook , is a fascinating glimpse into evolving mobile device usages and the increasing role of smartphones in the multi-channel retail landscape today.

McClelland explains: “The fact that multi-channel brands are ahead in terms of adoption of mobile-optimised websites will come as a surprise to some. This is probably a reflection on the limited number of enterprise-sized platform providers available for bigger brands. Once they have rolled out mobile, it is relatively easy to replicate across other client sites, whereas pureplays tend to have more bespoke sites which are more difficult to optimise.

“The customers of both multichannel and pureplay retailers are already very engaged with mobile technology and won’t wait for brands to catch up.”

Smartphones have fundamentally changed the way people shop today. According to the IMRG Q1 Quarterly Benchmark of 2014, 34% of all e-Retail sales are through a mobile device whilst they also provide 48% of all traffic. Mobile technology is allowing retailers to stay connected to their consumers, acting as a glue across channels.

With a significant proportion of time spent on mobile spent on social networks there is growing evidence of social driving traffic to retail sites. People are in discovery mode when they visit social networks and increasingly this discovery is happening on mobile.

The boom in mobile advertisingreflects this behaviour and demonstrates that where people go, brands will follow. As the report highlights, in 2013, advertising spend aimed at mobile devices broke through the £1 billion barrier for the first time. With over 59% of its revenue coming from mobile advertising, Facebook is a key player here.

Tracy Yaverbaun, Director of Retail, Luxury and Fashion Partnerships at Facebook, adds: “Mobile provides an amazing opportunity for retailers to get closer to the consumer in the moment when real purchase decisions are being made. One in five minutes on mobile is spent on Facebook or Instagram, and people are visiting on average 14 times a day. There’s nowhere else really you can get that reach consistently across the day. And Facebook allows retailers to deliver personalised marketing messages at this scale.”

“Retailers are responding to the benefits Facebook delivers in terms of reach, targeting and measurement and are creating content that is lightweight, thumb friendly and, most importantly, relevant to drive product discovery in the mobile News Feed.”

To download ‘M-Commerce: Paradigm shift or subtle change or course?’ – which also tackles subjects such as ‘showrooming’, changes in customer behaviour and social media – visit

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