The first ABC//electronic audit of a WAP portal has uncovered
better-than-expected figures for the platform.
The figures are for Loot’s WAP portal, which carries classified car,
accommodation, personal and holiday accommodation listings that
customers can access through WAP mobile phones.
According to the research, more than 248,000 pages were accessed through
the portal during May 2000. The car classifieds proved the most popular,
followed by the property listings.
Loot’s chief executive, Graham Tolhurst, said that the initial figures
for the portal back in March, when Loot launched its WAP service, were
around 60,000 for the month and that the access rates shot up at the
beginning of May.
Tolhurst blamed a shortage of supply of WAP phones during the early part
of the year for the low access, and said that the availability of
WAP-enabled mobiles has shot up since the beginning of May -
contributing to the corresponding rise in visits to the portal.
He admits that even he was surprised at the rate of access. ’To be
honest, I wasn’t expecting anything near what we achieved. The beauty of
WAP is that it suits small snippets of information beautifully,
therefore small packages of advertising are totally suited to the
medium,’ he said.
Awareness of the portal was generated through the print version of Loot,
as well as through the website. Loot is yet to launch a major
advertising campaign for the WAP initiative.
Loot’s internet site receives around 14 million page impressions per
month, but Tolhurst expects web access through handheld devices such as
mobile phones and personal digital assistants to overtake internet
access via computers.
’I believe that handheld delivery of the web will outstrip internet
access through PCs within the next three years,’ he said.
Loot was bought by the online business-to-consumer search directory
Scoot last month for pounds 190 million, creating the biggest classified
and directory service in the UK.