Mobile devices have become an integral part of the consumer's lifestyle, but brand Web sites and services do not support the shift. Although Google recommends that mobile sites load in one second or less, only 16 of the 100 sites participating in The Search Agency report achieve this. The average load time was 3.62 seconds.
Of the 100 sites, only one used responsive Web design. Of the remaining companies, 91 used dedicated mobile sites and eight did not provide a separate mobile experience from their desktop version. The average consumer expects online and multichannel retailers to provide a frictionless mobile experience, and businesses that fail to offer optimized mobile experiences for their visitors may suffer.
The Search Agency's Mobile Experience Scorecard: Multichannel Retailers, released Wednesday, aims to help marketers understand the state of mobile among multichannel retailers. The Search Agency used its scorecard to evaluate the mobile sites of 100 of the largest multichannel retailers in the United States. This report scores each on seven criteria that either impact their organic search rankings and/or their customers' onsite experience.
Each company is assigned a score out of five on seven different factors: page load time, site format, store locator, search box, social media presence, app presence, and click-to-call. These scores are then averaged according to The Search Agency's weighting factors to arrive at a total score out of five for each of the retailers in the survey.
The average score for all companies in the study was 3.17 out of 5. None of the sites met all the set criteria, meaning that none achieved a perfect score of 5. REI took the highest score, followed by Toys "R" Us, CVS, Menards, and O'Reilley Automotive. The study provides the ability to click through to the retailer's mobile Web site. Ironically, Apple came in at No. 100.
REI's Web site took less than one second to load and featured a store locator and search box above the fold. Further down the page, the site also provided a click-to-call button, social media buttons, and downloadable applications.
The total average score of all retailers came in at 3.17 out of 5, but the scores varied widely by store type. Pharmacy retailers had the highest average score at 3.95, followed closely by auto parts, hardware, and office supply retailers. Jewelry retailers had the lowest average score, at 1.89.
The report also notes that most retailers featured a search box, except for a few apparel, hardware, jewelry, and pharmacy retailers. All in auto parts, cosmetics and sports linked to social media on their mobile home pages, with lowest participation at home goods, office supplies, and technology retailers.