Most Big Firms Fail Mobile Business Test And Wallets Slow To Take-off

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There are mobile websites and then there are M&S mobile websites, study finds, but Mobile Wallets will stay empty this year

The websites of the UK’s large enterprises fail mobile Internet users and waste millions of pounds in advertising, according to a new survey.

The study, carried out by Incentivated, found that 99 out of 100 firms on the FTSE-100 had websites that were not mobile-ready. This is despite the increase in usage of the mobile Internet on smartphones and tablets.

Jonathan Bass, managing director of Incentivated, said, “It’s a myth that 2013 will be a tipping point for mobile, British businesses are woefully unprepared. Lots of companies are dipping their toes into mobile but very few are getting properly wet. Too many businesses assume that mobile is an extension of their current online offering.”

Failing to move

The research firm analysed websites for mobile readiness based on three objective criteria as well as two subjective ones. This included whether a mobile search is automatically detected and directed to a mobile site (or served a meaningful responsive design); whether the page size is small enough to load quickly on a 2.5G or 3G network and whether the site is optimised to work across multiple mobile platforms such as Android, Windows and Blackberry rather than just iPhone alone.

Also the sites were checked to see if they contained useful content to customers over and above blogs and lists of links to un-optimised desktop content, or whether there was adequate company branding for the mobile site.

Of the 100 companies checked, 69 of FTSE 100 firms are not optimised for mobile at all, 22 have tried to optimise for mobile users but scored badly. Only eight scored “moderately well”, but were deemed “inadequate”. Only Marks & Spencer “stood out” scoring four out of five across the requirements above.

Surprising results included ARM, the designer of chips that power many mobile phones and WPP, which claims to be the world’s largest marketing services business; both of which scored poorly.

“Mobile is becoming more important than the desktop and the benefits are screamingly obvious,” said Bass. ‘Companies with a mobile-optimised website generate more revenues and customer engagement.  They standout from their competition right now as well.  The lack of investment and inconsistencies among FTSE business should worry all boardrooms.”

Wallets empty in 2013

Another mobile business survey, this time by ICM, found that mobile wallets would not take off in the UK this year despite enjoying a smartphone penetration of 60 percent.

It found that contactless payment was still very much in its infancy and only eight percent of people used the technology to buy goods and services. The survey found that more than half of consumers (51 percent) would use a mobile wallet if their worries about security were addressed. The research company found that there was a lack of retailer support with few terminals and little or no in-store promotion.

It found that consumers are ready to accept a range of security measures to gain confidence in Mobile Wallet including: a bank/mobile provider guaranteeing any financial losses (56 percent); entering a PIN on every transaction (43 percent), or after a number of transactions (37 percent); being able to shut the mobile down remotely (40 percent); setting a daily cap on spending (34 percent); facial recognition (33 percent) and voice recognition (24 percent) on the mobile handset.

Jamie Belnikoff, associate director at ICM Research, said, “Mobile wallets are about more than just paying – they allow consumers to manage their vouchers and discounts, loyalty cards, event tickets and public transport passes all in one place. While people appreciate these advantages, their genuine security concerns, the lack of terminals in shops and absence of in-store promotions are preventing broader consumer take-up.”


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