By Michelle Graff
In the International Advertising Bureau’s “Fashion on Phones” study of the 100 most well-known brands in fashion, Tiffany&Co. and three clothing brands were recognized as leaders in the mobile world.
New York--Tiffany & Co. is at the top of the game when it comes to reaching its customers on their smartphones, a new study shows, due in part to the retailer’s inclusion of five key elements on the mobile version of its website.

In its recent “Fashion on Phones” study, the International Advertising Bureau (IAB) examined the Women’s Wear Daily top 100 brands, a December 2012 report by the publication on the most well-known brands in the fashion world, to see how well they served their customers.

The IAB gave each brand an “M-score” for its mobile readiness, ranging from zero to 100, based not only on their mobile websites but also on features included on the site such as a mobile-optimized search, tap-to-call and a store locator.

One jewelry brand, Tiffany & Co., received a perfect score, as did apparel brands The North Face, Pink, and Victoria’s Secret.

First, IAB assessed which brands had a responsive site. The company found that 83 percent did have one, meaning that the remaining 17 percent of those included in the study are without a mobile-optimized website, including watch brands Seiko and Timex.

As brands with a direct retail presence have the greatest impetus to offer a good mobile experience for its customers because of its ability to drive sales on smartphones and in stores, these brands are missing out on critical opportunities for business, the IAB said.

The IAB then examined the brand’s mobile sites, looking for the presence or absence of the following features that consumers are likely to look for:

--A store locator (85 percent had this)
--Mobile-optimized search results (65 percent)
--Tap-to-call phone numbers made readily available (64 percent)
--Link to desktop site from the mobile site (59 percent)
--For the brands with applications, the inclusion of an app store link on the mobile site (24 percent)

IAB measured these factors, as they are the ones that brands should strive to have when building their mobile presence in order to drive sales.

The organization said that best practices are to offer search results optimized for mobile to avoid losing sales due to cumbersome navigation, make tap-to-call phone numbers available within two taps of the front page so that customers can call easily, and include a store locator, all to drive m-commerce purchases.

“This research shows that a great number of fashion houses aren’t as mobile-savvy as they need to be in today’s digital world,” said Joe Laszlo, senior director, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at IAB. “Not all of the brands in the study are focused on e-commerce, but those with a direct retail presence have the strongest imperative to offer great mobile experiences. Doing mobile right will help drive sales both on smartphones and in stores. And even those without that retail arm can only benefit from a robust mobile presence in the marketplace.” 

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