Digital marketing and multichannel e-commerce company Acquity Group has unveiled its summary of the 2011 Mobile Commerce Audit of top online retailers "to identify companies and industries on the leading edge of mobile initiatives" in the United States and European Union.
The annual audit, which has been conducted since 2009, aims to analyze the mobile campaigns of the Web's top e-commerce retailers. Acquity Group started by looking at some top online retailers and then determined a final pool based on specific considerations, such as when multiple brands exist under one company or when a company will feature both retail and non-retail sites (of which only the retail sites were looked at). They ended up auditing 535 sites.
During the study, six different mobile operating systems that reflected the 2011 landscape were looked at: Apple iOS, Android, webOS, Blackberry OS v.5, Blackberry OS v.6 and Windows Phone 7. A retailer's mobile site was tested on each OS.
Companies were judged by points that reflected their "successful adoption of an m-commerce site." For instance, a retailer received one point if they had a mobile-specific site or two points if a mobile site is optimized for a particular device.
Acquity Group compared the data found in the study with the numbers from 2010. Currently, 37 percent of sites are compatible with mobile browers, which is up from just 12 percent last year. Also, 26 percent have downloadable apps, while only 7 percent did in 2010. About 18 percent of the companies studied have both a mobile site and a downloadable app.
In all, approximately 26 percent of the retailers looked at had sites that rendered "properly" on all six operating systems, and about 21 percent of the sites followed the m. subdomain standard.
Interestingly, though 11 percent of sites were optimized for the iPhone in 2010, only 9 percent are now.
In the end, Acquity Group conluded that "2011 was the year that mobile truly took hold - and took off" because of massive gains in the number of retailers with mobile sites and apps. The market most affected by this surge in mobile usage is the ticket industry, which saw the highest percentage changes from 2010. "Simply put, a company in this industry cannot maintain a competitive edge without offering ticket purchase & management on mobile devices."
As far as mobile apps are concerned, industry leaders iOS and Android still held a firm command, with very few companies having options for Blackberry or webOS.
The study concluded with a list of the top ten m-commerce websites, included below:
3. Barnes and Noble
6. Armani Exchange
8. Gilt Groupe
10. The Home Depot