BRUSSELS: Mobile has become an integral part of European retail and finance brands' strategy, but a new audit says there are opportunities to extend this beyond responsive web design and display advertising.

According to Advertiser Mobile Audit 2016, a report from IAB Europe based on an audit of over 500 advertiser sites across seven countries (Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Turkey), more than 80% of the top retail and finance advertisers have a mobile-optimised site.

Over half of retail brands and nearly three quarters of finance brands used responsive web design, it said, with Germany and the Netherlands excelling in this area: all retail brands in Germany and all finance brands in the Netherlands were found to have a mobile-optimised site, while more than half used responsive web design.

The study further noted that mobile display continues to grow – 60% in 2015 – and now accounts for a quarter of all European display ad spend (nearly 50% in advanced markets), making it "an integral part of advertiser strategy".

But it also reported that, despite apps being a key part of mobile strategy – more than half of retail brands and nearly three quarters of finance brands have a mobile app – their development is lagging behind mobile and desktop browser sites.

Just over two thirds of retail brands had a transactional mobile (65%) or desktop (69%) site, for example, but only around half of their apps had transactional functionality; a similar proportion had GPS store locators on the app.

Nearly three quarters of finance brands had a mobile app, but, again, only around half contained a GPS branch locator, and finance calculators were more likely to be limited to desktop and mobile sites.

The audit also noted that, in the finance sector, personal banking apps were more developed than business banking apps.

Twice as many finance brands had personal banking apps as had business banking apps, although that was not the case for those brands operating in CEE markets, which were more likely to have a business banking app.

Data sourced from IAB Europe; additional content by Warc staff