Welcome!

Wearables Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, David Sprott, Anders Wallgren

News Feed Item

99 Out of 100 FTSE Firms Fail Mobile Business Test

LONDON, January 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Research Finds Even the Top Decile of FTSE-100 Mobile Websites are Haphazard

UK Businesses are way Behind Their American Competitors and Losing Out as a Result

Despite the rapid take-up of smartphone and tablet mobile devices, a surge in m-commerce and the introduction of 4G, FTSE-100 companies are not mobile-ready and as a result are wasting millions of pounds on internet advertising by sending consumers to sites that do not work as users expect them to.  The fix is easy.

A comprehensive study into UK mobile business performance, by Incentivated, reveals a chasm between consumer behaviour and Britain's top companies.  Incentivated employed the kind of rigour that consumers do when voting with their thumbs, and the reason why leading US brands are dominating the digital landscape as it mobilises.  UK and Europe no longer lead the way in mobile marketing.  The Americans follow the dollars and people are buying through mobile.

Each FTSE-100 company website was analysed and scored for mobile readiness based on three objective criteria as well as two subjective ones: 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 (i.e. an element of server-side responsiveness or 'RESS' to reduce payload); and whether the site is optimised to work across multiple mobile platforms such as Android, Windows and Blackberry rather than just iPhone alone.  (Minor UX issues, like hiding the URL bar to release more space for content, have been ignored in this analysis.)  

The subjective criteria included: whether the site contained useful content or was just a blog or similar short-form content such as a list of links to un-optimised desktop content, and whether there was branding in place.  Mobile real estate is just as valuable as anything else and some businesses have shown that a small screen-size is no limit to creativity.

The tests revealed (full detail of the research findings available on request):

•    69 of FTSE 100 firms are not optimised for mobile at all

•    22 have had a go but scored badly

•    Only eight score moderately well but frankly are inadequate

•    Only one (M&S) stood out, scoring four out of five

Yet it's so easy to obtain a score of four or even five out of five.  You have to look outside the FTSE-100, to publishers and smaller businesses (e.g. Gatwick Airport) or to American businesses to find scores of four to five.  In comparison US brands, a handful of global brands get it all right; businesses such as Amazon, Ebay, Twitter, Remington etc.  (That said, businesses like Samsung and Microsoft only score slightly better than average and Apple still refuses to play ball at all, but maybe you don't need to when people are falling over themselves to buy your product.)  

Surprising results included ARM (the designer of chips that power most mobile phones) and WPP (world's largest marketing services business); both of which scored poorly.

Examples of failings by type

    Category                         Company         Commentary
                                                     What can you say - a
    No mobile site                   Legal & General missed opportunity.
                                                     This retailer has been
                                                     left behind by the entire
                                                     sector and will be
                                                     missing out on sales.
                                                     Evidence is clear that
    Mobile site not accessible from                  consumers buy through
    or presented through the                         sites more than they do
    www. URL (i.e. difficult                         through apps (Next has a
    to find via search)              Next            good app).
                                                     In CRH's case the home
                                                     page is >4mb (could take
                                                     several minutes to
                                                     download on 3G and even
    Page file size too large         CRH             longer on GPRS).
                                                     Technical issues prevent
                                                     content working on most
                                                     devices, including
    Technical issues                 Babcock         iPhone.
                                                     Looks like it was built
    Poor or no branding              ARM             ten years ago.
                                                     Professional services
                                                     firms rarely practise
    Poor or no content               WPP             what they preach.
                                                     Clicking on most of the
                                                     content links takes you
                                                     to the (non mobilised)
    Veneer of mobilisation           Aviva           desktop site.


Localisation has not been tested, i.e. we have assumed the user is UK based even though many of these businesses have global reach.

[please email [email protected] for screen shots].

Company focus: J Sainsbury's, BT and M&S

Recognising that it is less essential for corporate sites to be mobilised if their consumer and brand sites are mobile ready, the study examined three 'technically good' FTSE 100 companies in-depth: BT, J Sainsbury's, and Marks & Spencer.

This analysis found that only BT's corporate site is optimised but none of its consumer-facing phone or TV services is available in a mobile format, while its broadband users are dealt with minimally through one Wi-Fi hotspot finder.  With price comparison sites mobilising BT has a chance to leave Virgin Media and Sky behind i.e. these comparison sites will direct traffic to a mobilised BT.

Marks & Spencer mobile site is fully optimised, scoring four out of five with the one scoring loss coming from the way the site has had to be built initially - a short-term constraint dictated by a pre-mobile website strategy. The current mobile solution does its best to work around these known issues.

Both J Sainsbury's corporate and consumer sites are optimised for small screen. However, while the latter fulfils all technical criteria, its branding and content are greatly lacking. Most of the desktop site's imagery has been stripped away and sections of the site are not optimised.  In any other sector, for UK businesses, this would be considered 'OK' - but UK retailers have woken up to the ROI from mobile commerce and businesses like J Sainsbury and John Lewis have been left behind.

Best and worst mobile companies

The research found that M&S has the best mobile site in the FTSE100, while seven companies jointly hold the title for worst mobile sites (scoring 0/5) including Rolls Royce and International Airlines Group (parent of BA and Iberia).

According to the Standard Industry Codes (SIC) the best performing category is Information and Communication, the worst is a three-way tie between Transportation, Admin and Water Supply, Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation Activities.

Sector examples of mobilisation in action (not exhaustive*)

    Sector                       Company              Commentary
                                                      No re-direct, slow
                                                      loading due to large
    Accommodation & Food         Intercontinental     file sizes and little
    Services                     Hotels               content and branding.
                                                      Almost no branding or
                                                      content on the site,
                                                      but technically
                                                      capable. The energy
    Energy                       SSE                  sector lags others.
                                                      Desktop site served to
                                                      mobile devices, slow
                                                      loading due to large
                                                      file sizes though to
                                                      give them credit their
    Financial Services           Barclays             app strategy is good.
                                                      BSkyB are making real
                                                      efforts to provide
                                                      mobile access to their
                                                      customer base, yet this
                                                      is through apps
                                                      restricted by access to
                                                      specific devices that
                                                      cause as much
                                                      frustration as delight.
                                                      Meanwhile they still
    Arts, Entertainment &                             serve their desktop
    Recreation                   BSkyB                site to mobiles
                                                      Almost no branding or
                                                      content on the site,
                                                      but technically
    Mining & Quarrying           Tullow Oil           capable.
                                                      No re-direct, little
                                                      branding and content
                                                      but technically
                                                      capable. New mobile
    Manufacturing                Imperial Tobacco     site "coming soon".
                                                      Slow loading due to
                                                      large file sizes but
    Information and                                   good content and
    Communications               Vodafone             reasonable branding.
                                                      No re-direct, little
                                                      branding and content
                                                      but technically
    Pharmaceutical               Shire                capable.
                                                      Negligible brand and
                                                      content (just press
                                                      releases and share
                                                      price) - odd given who
    Professional                 WPP                  they are.
                                                      Negligible brand and
                                                      content (just new and
    Property                     Land Securities      telephone numbers).
                                                      One of the best sites;
                                                      a few technical
                                                      improvements required
                                                      to make it work on more
    Retail                       M&S                  devices etc.
    Transportation               None have            n/a


Millions wasted by all British advertisers  

In the first half of 2012, £1,527 million was spent on pay per click search advertising in the UK*.  Google estimates that 25% of all searches are made from a mobile device, which means that up to £381 million was wasted by UK advertisers, many of which are in the FTSE 100, because they are directing people to mobile websites that do not work effectively, if at all.

*Source: PwC-IAB, October 2012

Mobile homogenisation

There is also a mobile branding issue as Incentivated found 70% of companies that have attempted to mobilise use an almost unbranded, homogenised, 'stacked bricks' design. All FTSE companies have invested heavily in their brands in the real world and online, but almost all have ignored mobile. This completely erodes individual brand character or distinctiveness in the mobile environment.

Jonathan Bass, managing director of Incentivated, said: "It's a myth that 2013 will be a tipping point for mobile, British business is woefully unprepared compared with our American cousins.  Lots of companies are dipping their toes into mobile, but very few getting properly wet.  Too many businesses assume that mobile is an extension of their current online offering.  It isn't, it requires a very different approach.  They don't know what they don't know and nor do their digital agencies.  And don't get me started on SMS; an incredibly powerful tool alongside a mobile site or to support the physical presence, logistics and customer services.  

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

A final word on apps

Some organisations have adopted an 'app-only-strategy', believing these to be the answer.  In our experience, and based upon numerous examples, case studies and the like, an app is never 'the' answer - it is one element of a response.  As Steve Jobs has said: "you have to start with customer experience and work backwards to the technology." Creating an iPhone app and working from there ignores the context of the mobile relationship a customer has with a brand - too many fail to appreciate it is their customer that is mobile.  A website is the universally accessible default starting point for all of us, rather than being locked out because we didn't choose the 'right' phone to do business with a given brand.  Google remains, for now, the place people start browsing.

The research was conducted by Incentivated in November 2012.  Full research documents available on request.

About Incentivated Ltd

Incentivated (incentivated.com) is a specialist full-service mobile agency staffed by experts totally focused on building mobile-enabled businesses.  For more than a decade Incentivated has developed mobile and m-commerce strategies, built websites, apps, campaigns, SMS and CRM solutions for blue chip businesses, brands and charities.

Today's clients are a mix of high street retailers, utility companies, Government, airports, airlines and car marques that believe m-commerce will be more important than e-commerce. These clients looked to Incentivated's industry insight and proprietary technology to best position themselves to profit from mobile internet across smart phones and tablet devices. Incentivated delivers an end-to-end mobile service from consultancy and creative applications, to campaigns, hosting and data management. Its proprietary mobile content management system, called IRIS, enables Incentivated to build sophisticated mobile platforms and apps, set up and send high volume messages, manage and interrogate data.

Incentivated is writing the rule book for mobile business and helping UK PLC to think 'mobile now & mobile first' not 'mobile tomorrow'.

UK clients include: Airbus, British Airways, British Gas, Gatwick Airport, John Lewis, M&S, John Lewis, Waitrose Mitsubishi, Monsoon, nPower, Scottish Power and Tesco amongst others.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that iDevices®, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. iDevices, the preeminent brand in the connected home industry, has a growing line of HomeKit-enabled products available at the largest retailers worldwide. Through the “Designed with iDevices” co-development program and its custom-built IoT Cloud Infrastruc...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
The Quantified Economy represents the total global addressable market (TAM) for IoT that, according to a recent IDC report, will grow to an unprecedented $1.3 trillion by 2019. With this the third wave of the Internet-global proliferation of connected devices, appliances and sensors is poised to take off in 2016. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David McLauchlan, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Platform, will discuss how the ability to access and analyze the massive volume of streaming data from mil...
WebSocket is effectively a persistent and fat pipe that is compatible with a standard web infrastructure; a "TCP for the Web." If you think of WebSocket in this light, there are other more hugely interesting applications of WebSocket than just simply sending data to a browser. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Frank Greco, Director of Technology for Kaazing Corporation, will compare other modern web connectivity methods such as HTTP/2, HTTP Streaming, Server-Sent Events and new W3C event APIs ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Silver Spring Networks, Inc. (NYSE: SSNI) extended its Internet of Things technology platform with performance enhancements to Gen5 – its fifth generation critical infrastructure networking platform. Already delivering nearly 23 million devices on five continents as one of the leading networking providers in the market, Silver Spring announced it is doubling the maximum speed of its Gen5 network to up to 2.4 Mbps, increasing computational performance by 10x, supporting simultaneous mesh communic...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
One of the bewildering things about DevOps is integrating the massive toolchain including the dozens of new tools that seem to crop up every year. Part of DevOps is Continuous Delivery and having a complex toolchain can add additional integration and setup to your developer environment. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Miko Matsumura, Chief Marketing Officer of Gradle Inc., will discuss which tools to use in a developer stack, how to provision the toolchain to minimize onboa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...