Why Are One In Five Top UK Brands Begging Mobile Consumers To Ignore Them?

If I could name one thing that the leading brands tend to have in common, it would simply be that they have embraced mobile. Take Auto Trader UK, for example. It ditched print several years ago and went online -- and before it was hip to do so, it embraced mobile in preparation for today, when around two in three car searches are carried out on a mobile. It's no surprise, then, that it's the UK's leading car site and has remained way ahead of rivals, In fact, it's quite staggering. The figures can go up and down, but roughly half of all car-searching traffic in the UK heads to Auto Trader. Small wonder, then, that it had a highly successful float last month.

It's truly surprising, then, to see in yesterday's IAB report that 7% of retail brands, 9% of FMCG brands and 7% of travel brands still have no mobile presence. In more detail, in retail, where you would think there would be a compelling argument to embrace mobile, nearly a third of companies don't have an app and only a third have a transactional app -- a percentage that has hardly moved upwards in the past two years. 

In FMCG, just over a quarter of companies do not have a mobile-optimised site, and the same can be said for just over one in ten travel brands. 

It's pretty surprising stuff, isn't it -- and don't worry, this is not an April fool's joke. These are real statistics from the IAB.

Behind the accolades handed out to Disney, Tesco and Lego for being top mobile performers -- HSBC, Vodafone and EE were not far behind -- there are some pretty startling statistics about those that are not just underperforming but actually choosing not to even compete. Remember, these star performers were picked out for ticking nine or more of the IAB's ten tick boxes. That means they have gone way beyond having mobile-optimised sites -- but also, usefully, paid-search campaigns are optimised for mobile. Such a performance makes them stand out remarkably.

Apparently, the average performance is improving, with eight out of ten of the country's leading 250 brands each having a mobile-optimised site, of which half are responsively designed. Let's not forget, though, that means a fifth of the country's leading brands do not have mobile-optimised sites and half are not responsively designed around mobile users. These are not corner shops we're talking about here -- these are the the country's leading brands. 

So it's time to say it like it is. Brands that do not embrace mobile will simply be ignored. The online consumer is marching ever faster to mobile, and the quickest way of making yourself obsolete is to either ignore the channel or not fully embrace it -- halfway measures are not good enough.

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