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Retailers let down mobile shoppers

13 January 2015 - 13:11 by Paul Tissington

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A report from Somo published this month has found that a number of big retailers are still ignoring the needs of people who want to shop online from their smartphones and tablets.

In the study, it was revealed that 40 per cent of some of the best known brands on the high street have not created a solution for locating stores which is optimised for use on a portable device.

People use their phones to search out shopping opportunities, but if they are unable to work out exactly where a retailer is based, then they may be less likely to commit to a purchase.

A fifth of the 50 biggest retailers on the high street are still without a mobile site of any kind, meaning those that do want to attempt to buy something are forced to use the desktop site, which will often be poorly rendered and hard to use on portable gadgets.

Almost a third of outlets have not launched a shopping app for iOS, while a marginally smaller 28 per cent slice have neglected Android users so far. And since apps are better at converting customers who are in the process of placing an order via safe shopping online, this seems like an area that is especially in need of being addressed.

Close to half of the retailers that analysts examined have not embraced the concept of responsive web design, which is a shame because this approach means that a site can be viewed on desktop PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones and will adapt, depending on the device that is being used.

Hopefully, 2015 will be another big year for m-commerce and will convince the retailers that are lagging behind the curve to improve shopping opportunities for smartphone and tablet users.