By  on September 5, 2014

Tiffany & Co., Victoria’s Secret, The North Face and Pink are winning in the apparel and accessories mobile space.

According to “Fashion on Phones,” a study conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, 83 percent of the brands ranked by WWD’s list of Top 100 Brands have mobile optimized sites.

Of the 100 brands, the above four were the only ones to receive a perfect “M-score,” based on a series of metrics such as whether or not a site had a store locator, tap-to-call phone numbers, optimized search, a link to the expanded desktop site and a link to the app on the Apple App Store (if applicable).

“Just building a mobile Web site is great but it’s clearly not enough,” Joe Laszlo, IAB senior director, mobile marketing center of excellence, told WWD of the five parameters the study used to measure success. “Some companies are building mobile sites that are pretty, but only go skin deep…the mobile Web sites don’t return search results that look good on a smart screen. This means only the homepage is optimized.”

Anna Bager, IAB vice president and general manager, mobile marketing center of excellence, noted: “Eighty-three percent of the labels…have mobile-optimized Web sites — but 100 percent of them should have one.”

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Of the brands that do have mobile sites, 35 percent still don’t offer mobile optimized search results and less than a quarter of brands with apps linked to the App Store from their mobile site. However, 85 percent of brands in this group have implemented store locator tools on their mobile sites, 64 percent have tappable phone numbers and almost 60 percent link to a desktop site.

A larger group of brands maintained mobile sites containing four out of five of the parameters — like Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, Banana Republic, Gap, Guess, H&M, J. Crew, Nine West, Ralph Lauren, Ray-Ban, Louis Vuitton, Levi’s and Under Armour.

But some major players are still holding out.

Of the 17 percent who have yet to adapt to the increasingly mobile consumer, brands like DKNY, Reebok and Versace still don’t have mobile sites. American Apparel is also on this list, but the three brands with the lowest rating (no mobile site or mobile-friendly tools) were Joe Boxer, Casio and Candie’s.

“Just building a mobile Web site is great but it’s clearly not enough. Some companies are building mobile sites that are pretty but only go skin deep,” Laszlo said. “Some of the brands we looked at that have a mobile Web site don’t return search results that look good on a smart screen. This means only the homepage is optimized — the first page they see when they access the site on the phone.”

Beyond mobile sites, data showed that 47 percent of brands have iPhone apps, 43 percent have Android apps and 26 percent have iPad apps. The last number was surprising for Laszlo because, to him, the iPad’s large screen is “tailor made” to make clothing look good — yet only about one in four brands have one.

Finally, just over a third — or 37 percent — of those studied had responsive Web design, an online experience that works cross-platform without the need to build a differentiated experience for a desktop, smartphone or tablet.

Although it’s been around for a few years, Laszlo said responsive design is about to become a lot more prevalent. It will force designers to think differently about how they are developing sites. Early adopters of responsive design are Ray-Ban, Calvin Klein, Converse, Swatch and Tommy Hilfiger.

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