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Quarter of top retailers lack mobile-optimised sites

15 September 2015 - 10:08 by Graham Miller

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A report from Equimedia has revealed that 26 per cent of the UK’s biggest retailers are still not catering to people who enjoy shopping online from their smartphones, with many major brands using sites that are poorly optimised from a portable perspective.

Analysts looked at a number of criteria to determine whether or not a site was truly mobile friendly. They found that even retailers which are relatively up to speed with modern browsing habits could do with making tweaks, to avoid putting off people who regularly shop from their smartphones.

Nine out of 10 sites were criticised for the use of buttons which were placed in a way that made it difficult for people using a touchscreen device to accurately select the correct one. Meanwhile, a third were found to feature content which was wider than the typical display found on modern smartphones, meaning that mobile shoppers are not seeing the whole picture.

Mobile optimised sites, which respond dynamically and automatically resize elements depending on the device and browser being used to visit them, are increasingly common. But anyone who has attempted shopping online from a smartphone will realise that there are still areas in which improvements can be made, especially when it comes to interface and page layout.

Even seemingly minor elements can be exacerbated, including the length of the title of product pages and the descriptions of items which are for sale, according to the study.

Meanwhile, 78 per cent of major brands were highlighted as having pages which are slow to load when accessed from a smartphone, of which group almost half were highlighted as having sites that suffer from severely sluggish speeds.

People are not going to stop shopping from smartphones entirely if a site they use is not up to scratch, but retailers may find that shoppers end up using competing services instead.