The Top 100 U.S. Retailers Lag When It Comes to Mobile

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New Data from The Search Agency Shows that Retail on the Go is still Sub-Par; REI Wins, While Apple Takes Last Place

As consumers prepare for the frenzy that is online holiday shopping, The Search Agency, a global online marketing firm and the largest independent U.S. search marketing agency, today released its latest Mobile Experience Scorecard: 100 Multichannel Retailers. The report includes a full analysis of the mobile websites of the top 100 retailers in the U.S. With a similar approach to its recently-released Mobile Experience Scorecard: Fortune 100 Companies, The Search Agency’s team of mobile experts determined which top 100 retailers were most closely aligned with established mobile marketing best practices including those set by Google, and other expected functionalities, including search, store locator, and easy calling links (e.g. a click to call button or linked phone number).

“Today’s consumers expect to be able to get anything on the go, and it’s surprising that many retailers are not meeting industry standards and search engine best practices when it comes to providing a great mobile and app experience,” said Grant Simmons Director, SEO and Social Product at The Search Agency. “With retail top of mind as we enter the holiday season, now is the time to let retailers know where they are falling short, and guide consumers to the best mobile shopping experiences. Those retailers that are falling flat are most certainly losing valuable customers before they get to the checkout.”

The Mobile Experience Scorecard: 100 Multichannel Retailers report calculated a total score out of a possible five points – one being the lowest and a score of five being the highest possible – for each of the retailer’s mobile sites. Analysis was based on seven factors, including loadtime, site format, store locator, search box, social media presence, app presence, and click-to-call. Specifically, the study evaluated elements that are key to multi-channel retailer success, including how prominent the store locator is on the site; if there is an on-site search capability; if the functions are easy to find and/or need to be clicked to open; and if the site has a click-to-call phone number or button.

The following are notable results from the study:

  • Although Google recommends that mobile sites load in under 1 second, only 16 of the 100 sites actually meet this criteria. The average load speed of the top 100 retailers was 3.62 seconds.
  • Of the 100 sites, only one site – Carter’s – used Responsive Web Design, Google’s recommended configuration for mobile. Of the remaining companies, 91 used dedicated mobile sites, while eight did not provide a separate mobile experience from the desktop version of their site at all.
  • None of the sites met all the set criteria; in other words, none of the top 100 retailers achieved a perfect score of five.
  • The average score for all companies in the study was 3.17 out of five.

A snapshot of the winning and losing brands include:

  • REI had the highest score of 4.74.
  • Toys “R” Us took second place with a score of 4.40.
  • CVS ranked third place with a score of 4.28.
  • Apple is in 100th place with a score of 0.68.

To see the full rankings including methodology or to download a copy of the report, please visit:

About The Search Agency
The Search Agency is a global online marketing firm that combines high-tech and high-touch strategies to help clients engage their customers online and measure ROI beyond a reasonable doubt. With a deep-rooted history in paid search and SEO, The Search Agency understands how activity on the web intersects at search, and executes smart digital marketing strategies that drive measurable results across multiple platforms. Services include Paid Search, SEO, Landing Page Optimization, Display Media, Social Media and Comparison Shopping Management, which are strategically leveraged to maximize the efficacy of clients' integrated marketing campaigns. The company is one of the nation's largest and fastest growing search marketing firms – named the largest independent U.S. search marketing agency by Advertising Age and among Deloitte's 2011 Technology Fast 500™. Founded in 2002, The Search Agency has grown to more than 180 employees worldwide with headquarters in Los Angeles, CA, and additional offices in San Francisco, East Greenwich, Baltimore, London, Sydney, Toronto and Bangalore. For more information, go to

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Stephanie Cooley
The Search Agency
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