Joe Boxer, Casio, and Candie’s need to step up their mobile site game.* These three brands earned the lowest rankings in a new study, “Fashion on Phones,” conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which rated the mobile sites of 100 fashion and accessories brands.
As more and more people are shopping on their phones–mobile shopping surpassed desktop shopping last year–failing to optimize a website for mobile use is a major oversight for any brand. That good design is good for business applies to the e-commerce user experience as much as to, say, branding. The five criteria the researchers assessed included whether the mobile site had a store locator, tap-to-call phone numbers, optimized search, links to the expanded desktop site, and links to the brand’s app on the Apple App Store, if they have one. “Some companies are building mobile sites that are pretty, but only go skin deep,” Joe Laszlo, IAB senior director, told WWD. “The mobile Web sites don’t return search results that look good on a smart screen. This means only the homepage is optimized.” Sleekness and prettiness don’t mean much if you don’t get the basics right.
The winners of the mobile site contest? Tiffany & Co., Victoria’s Secret, The North Face, and Pink all garnered perfect scores. More brands met just four out of five of the parameters, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, Banana Republic, Gap, Guess, H&M, J. Crew, Nine West, Ralph Lauren, Ray-Ban, Louis Vuitton, Levi’s and Under Armour.
One curious tidbit: Only about a third of the brands were up to speed with responsive web design, which crafts sites to provide an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices, from mobile to desktop. Brands ahead of the curve, adopting responsive design early on, include Ray-Ban, Calvin Klein, Converse, Swatch and Tommy Hilfiger.
Designing for optimized user experience is a no-brainer when it comes to e-commerce, but the study highlights just how many brands are still behind the times.
*An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that London Fog was at the bottom of the rankings in IAB’s study. We regret the error.