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Acquity Group Study Finds 82% of Top 50 Retailers Have Basic Mobile Offerings; Only 10% Bring Digital Experience In-Store

Brands excel on big browser, but few offer shoppers emerging features such as videos, chat, pay-with-phone and inventory check.

CHICAGO, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Acquity Group (NYSE MKT: AQ), a leading global Brand eCommerce® and digital marketing company, announced today the results of its inaugural 2012 Brand eCommerce Audit, which evaluates Interbrand's Best Retail Brands 2012 on customer engagement across digital channels.

When it comes to mobile, 82 percent of retailers have a mobile optimized site, 72 percent have a mobile or tablet app, and 66 percent have both. Most of these brands make use of basic mobile capabilities, including shopping carts (88%), featured products (85%), customer reviews (63%) and contact forms (54%), but there are improvement opportunities in many areas, including:

  • Less than half (44%) of retailers evaluated currently provide click-to-call.
  • Although 76 percent of retailers offer product image zoom capabilities on big browser, only 39 percent have this offering on mobile.
  • While the vast majority (98%) have email opt-in options on big browser, a mere 34 percent support this feature on mobile.   

The study also found only one in 10 brands offer up-and-coming in-store digital experiences such as augmented reality, relevant product content access,  in-store loyalty applications and digital barcode coupons. Moreover, only 28 percent of retailers allow flexible "pay-by-phone" capabilities, including Google Wallet and PayPal, at their brick-and-mortar locations.

"Now that brands recognize the importance of the mobile channel, their focus must shift to adopting forward-looking mobility strategies to augment their in-store and big browser sales channels," said Jay Dettling, Executive Vice President of Acquity Group. "Mobile is no longer a separate channel for eCommerce. Through this research, we uncovered many areas where brands lack progressive initiatives that contribute to a truly Omnichannel experience."

The brands leading the way in terms of mobile, in order of scoring, include: Nordstrom, Best Buy, Walgreens, American Eagle Outfitters, Dick's Sporting Goods, Victoria's Secret, Home Depot, Urban Outfitters and GameStop. Rounding out the leaders and tied for tenth were Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic. Dollar Tree, Bath & Body Works, Big Lots, Tractor Supply and Rent-A-Center were the only retailers on Interbrand's list without a mobile presence.

Retailers Mature on Big Browser

Brands received high marks overall for their big browser presence. More than 90 percent of retailers offer email opt-in (98%), contact form (94%), featured products (98%), product images (96%), site search (98%) and store locator (94%) capabilities. In addition, all companies evaluated have website uptimes of at least 95 percent and only 46 percent are using Google Pay-Per-Click for advertisement.

Fewer retailers offered emerging features on their big browser sites, including chat (24%), flexible pick up and returns in-store for online purchases (36%) and the ability to check on-location inventory (30%). Although the study identified video as the most popular up-and-coming feature, only 36 percent of retailers currently incorporate this in their big browser sites, including Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Best Buy and Amazon.

The leading brands on big browser, in order of scoring, include: Advance Auto Parts and Auto Zone (tied for first), Urban Outfitters, Best Buy, Nordstrom, GameStop, Bed Bath & Beyond, Toys R Us, Home Depot and Tractor Supply.

"Brands have a significant opportunity to leverage emerging features to increase engagement and position themselves more competitively against Amazon, eBay, and other discount and warehouse retailers," said Dettling. "It is important for companies to evaluate their current offerings now and adjust accordingly, as we expect to see more flexible payment, delivery and user-experience capabilities moving into 2013."

To download the full Brand eCommerce Audit™ report, visit http://www.acquitygroup.com/brandaudit2012.

The Acquity Group Brand eCommerce Audit® Methodology

As a leading provider of digital marketing, interactive design, and eCommerce solutions, Acquity Group has worked with many well-known retailers to extend and redefine their cross-channel capabilities for increased profits, efficiency and customer engagement, the Company wanted to obtain a better understanding of how well brands are engaging customers across channels.

The Audit considered all companies listed on Interbrand's Best Retail Brands 2012 and looked at quantitative metrics across a variety of channels, which included in-store, big browser, mobile, social, search and email. Companies were awarded points based on their level of interaction with consumers across each of these channels and were further evaluated on a qualitative scale to assess consistency across marketing channels.

About Acquity Group

Acquity Group 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 works with leading brands like Adobe, AT&T, General Motors, Motorola, and Saks Fifth Avenue through offices in North America and Asia.


Emily Johnson
[email protected]

SOURCE Acquity Group Ltd.

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