MIG Sock Report Finds Fashion Retailers Lagging

Integrated mobile and digital communications business, Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) has released its inaugural Christmas Sock Report. The research evaluated the UK’s top 57 retailers against their mCommerce capabilities, in particular testing them against the question: how easy is it to find and purchase the most popular Christmas present – a pair of socks?

The report concluded that only 16 retailers had a mobile app, with only nine of these being capable of processing a transaction. In addition, only four retailers had an optimised transactional mobile site. In total, only 23 per cent of all retailers in the fashion sector allowed users to find and purchase a pair of socks via mobile. Clicks to find a pair of socks ranged between two and five, while clicks to the checkout (or registration page) ranged between five and eight. 

With Morgan Stanley, predicting that mobile will overtake fixed line internet access by 2013, the report highlights the need for the fashion retail sector to embrace mCommerce. A report issued by Tesco Direct last week issued findings of its analysis in to consumer shopping habits indicafound that one in 10 Brits will do some of their online Christmas shopping using their mobile phone.

“With the continued growth of smartphones and the mobile internet, mCommerce has rapidly grown in to a huge opportunity for the retail sector,” says MIG group marketing director, Ben Cusack. “In the UK M&S has played a pivotal role in championing investment in mCommerce by allowing their customers to search, browse and purchase their full product range on mobile, at a time and place that’s convenient for them. The Sock Report clearly demonstrates that the fashion subset of the retail sector is lagging behind somewhat, and since we know that consumers’ online behaviour extends right in to the mobile channel, clearly there are huge gains to be made with a transactional mCommerce strategy in 2011.”

MIG built and launched M&S’s transacational, mobile-optimised website earlier this year. In the first three months after its launch, the site attracted 1.2m unique visitors, generating over 10m page views and more than 13,000 orders. The largest single order was for £3,280, for two sofas.

Growth in mCommerce is also on the increase in the US, where IDC Retail Insights recently reported that smartphones would account for at least $127bn (£81bn), or 28 per cent, of the $447bn the National Retail Federation predicts that consumers will spend this holiday season.