Today, a third of smartphone users turn to their devices while shopping for Personal Care products. For a category that includes everyday items such as body wash, shave gel, toothpaste and tissue, Personal Care, more than any other vertical we track here at L2, is a purchase experience to which we can all relate. Unlike a designer handbag or an heirloom watch, drugstore items are often impulse purchases, and by necessity, habitual. Despite American consumers’ increased preference for accessing information on-the-go, not to mention a notable uptick in showrooming–specifically, for Personal Care products–less than half of the 75 Personal Care brand sites we tracked in our new Digital IQ Index: Personal Care report offer sites that are even partially mobile-optimized. Even more shocking, 38 percent have no mobile presence at all.

Mobile-Site-Features

In the infographic above, you see the breakdown of Personal Care brands’ meager mobile features: less than half that are mobile-optimized support basic touch-and-swipe functionality and only 17 percent are wired for geolocation. With shopper loyalty so fleeting in this category (a sale price or new offering can often be enough to sway a shopper in a different direction), differentiating from the pack with a sophisticated, user-friendly mobile site is definitely in these brands’ best interest. There’s no question that because they are reliant on the larger retailers that carry their products, Personal Care brands have a more difficult time drawing attention to their digital properties. In our report, we found that more than half (57 percent) of the brands log fewer than 100,000 visitors on their sites each month.

Hindered by industry-wide anemic site traffic, an alternate channel for these brands to establish a strong mobile presence is through their own apps. But to date, less than 20 percent of Personal Care brands have released one for either iOS or Android. The most fruitful opportunity, we believe, is for these brands to continue to pursue opportunities via third-party apps like Shopkick and retailer sites like Drugstore.com that have already achieved scale.

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