At the end of last year my colleague Alex Causey and I conducted the first European Retail Wave, evaluating the functionality and usability of 10 retailer’s mobile websites. These retailers spanned the UK, France and Germany, including both pure players and brick and mortar retailers.

Unlike their US peers only one retailer, Argos, made it into the Leader category – and only just! Most of the retailers clustered at the contender level. With mobile becoming the dominant digital touchpoint for retailers they must do more to bridge the gap between good functionality and good usability.

Key takeaways from this Mobile Wave include:

Argos Leads With Mobile Web. Argos was the only retailer to reach Leader status, with rich features and strong usability. Argos was also the first UK retailer to break £1 billion in sales on mobile devices in 2015 and has shown strong like-for-like growth of 4% since its acquisition by Sainsbury’s Group.

Usability Varies Across Categories
. Retailers’ overall usability scores clustered around a similar score level. However, the areas of usability where retailers thrived or underperformed varied significantly.

Fixes Should Resolve Usability And Site Functionality Mismatch. Too many retailers had strong functionality but low usability — and vice versa. Retailers must focus on features that add customer value and ensure that they design and implement those features for greater usability.

For further insights from the research you can listen to our recent webinar sharing best practices from The Forrester Retail Wave: Mobile Web Q4 2017.