Acquity Group Mobile Audit Reports 210% Increase in Retailers’ Deployment of Mobile Sites Over Past Year

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In its third-annual Mobile Audit, Acquity Group also found that one in four retailers have at least one mobile app, with nearly a quarter developing for the iPhone, followed by Android (10%).

Acquity Group LLC, a leading global brand eCommerce and digital marketing company, announced today the results of its third-annual Mobile Audit, which analyzes Internet Retailer’s Top 500 companies on their rate of mobile adoption.

This year’s Top 10 Best-in-Class companies leading the way in mobile initiatives include, in alphabetical order: Amazon, Armani Exchange, Barnes & Noble,, Cabela’s, Gilt Groupe, The Home Depot, Newegg, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart.

“These ten retailers are executing mobile tactics that are positioning them ahead of the mobile commerce curve,” said Tom Nawara, Vice President of Digital Strategy and Design at Acquity Group LLC. “All of these companies have made a focused commitment to mobile, and it’s paying off. Not only have they implemented mobile-optimized sites to support a wide range of devices, but they have taken initiatives a step further with exceptional transactional functionality and well-designed apps that meet customer needs.”

The results show that 37% of the analyzed e-tailers now have a mobile site, up from only 12% in 2010.

The study also found that one in four retailers have at least one mobile app. These numbers have steadily risen over the past few years, a key indicator of the mobile revolution:

  •      The percentage of retailers with a mobile site moved from 4% in 2009, to 12% in 2010, to 37% in 2011. This is a 210% increase over the past year alone.

  •      The percentage of companies with a site optimized specifically for the iPhone decreased, from 11% in 2010 to 9% in 2011. Nawara explains that as mobile browsers become more similar and full-featured across different devices, this non-specialization is an expected trend.

  •      The percentage of retailers offering mobile apps grew 278% over the past year, rising from 7% in 2010 to slightly more than 26% in 2011.

According to the findings, online retailers are prioritizing the release of mobile-optimized sites over the creation of mobile apps. “Companies are still experimenting with the development of mobile apps,” said Robert Barr, Senior Vice President at Acquity Group LLC. “While many brands have launched mobile-optimized sites at this point, apps have yet to reach full adoption with retailers.”

Mobile Adoption Fluctuates by Industry and Audience Focus

Although tremendous progress is being made across the board, the rate of mobile adoption, and the specific mobile tactics used, can vary considerably by industry. For example, Acquity Group LLC’s analysis shows that for the implementation of iPhone apps, industry groups such as Health & Beauty, Food & Drug & Mass Merchants skewed much higher (an average of 66% adoption) than groups such as Flowers & Gifts and Hardware & Home Improvement (an average of 36% adoption).

Barr explained that while many companies have developed, or are in the midst of developing some type of mobile strategy, adoption definitely varies based on both audience and product.

“While mobile strategies have traditionally been prioritized by B2C companies, many B2B brands are now recognizing the importance of these initiatives,” said Barr. “Those engaged in B2B are being challenged to deliver a B2C-like experience, with the demand being driven by consumers. Users want a sophisticated mobile experience that is fresh and familiar, with engagement that makes their buying experience simpler and more convenient.”

Barr added that tablets will have a greater role in the B2B environment in the future, with that device type’s mobile capabilities and form factor able to deliver robust sales tools to educate prospects, as well as enable more instant, on-site purchases.

For the full Acquity Group LLC Mobile Audit 2011 findings, download the report at

The Acquity Group LLC Mobile Audit Methodology

As a leading provider of digital marketing, interactive design, and eCommerce solutions, Acquity Group LLC has worked with many well-known retailers to extend and redefine their cross-channel capabilities for increased profits and efficiency. Since Acquity Group LLC is currently developing mobile commerce initiatives for various retailers as well, the company wanted to obtain a better understanding of the current level of mobile deployment by the industry.

The Audit considered all companies listed on the Internet Retailer 500 and looked at metrics across a variety of categories, which included their utilization of a .mobi top-level domain, mobile browser/device detection techniques, WAP-optimization, downloadable apps for various smartphones, and a mobile services landing page on the desktop site, among other factors. Points were assigned for device detection across six browsers (iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7, WebOS, BlackBerry v.5 and BlackBerry v.6) and mobile applications considered for both their catalog and checkout functionality. Mobile applications were searched for and downloaded from the respective companies’ online application marketplaces, if available. The Best-in-Class companies were then identified based on total points.

About Acquity Group LLC:

Acquity Group LLC is a leading global brand eCommerce and digital marketing company, creating award-winning digital experiences for global brands. Our multi-disciplinary approach brings together strategy, design, and technology to create brand-unique experiences that build unbreakable customer relationships. Acquity Group is headquartered in Chicago, with offices across the U.S. To define a unique perspective for your business, contact Acquity Group LLC at


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Lauren Eichmann
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