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Research: mobile closes in online

By Retail Technology | Thursday February 28 2013

Customer satisfaction gap between mobile and traditional retail websites narrows, according to the latest survey of customers using the top 40 m-commerce sites in the UK

Customer experience analytics firm ForeSee recently announced the findings of its latest mobile shopping report and revealed that the customer satisfaction gap between mobile and the more traditional retail websites is narrowing.

The research, carried out across nearly 10,000 surveys, examined satisfaction scores from visitors to 40 of the largest UK mobile online retail websites, apps and tablets in the UK (as defined by the IMRG).

Customer satisfaction levels rising slowly

Among the key findings of the research, retail mobile experiences still slightly trailed behind traditional online retail websites with regard to customer satisfaction, however the gap is narrowing. Customer satisfaction with traditional online retail websites in the UK scored a 74 on the study’s 100-point scale, up from one point last year, and mobile experiences ranked slightly lower with 72 – but up two points from last year.

Most consumers (87%) were still using their home computer (or PC) as the main device with which to shop online, but one in five shoppers were using either a mobile phone, smartphone or a tablet device to access a retailer’s website, mobile site or mobile app. Mobile phone users are also more satisfied with their experience than home computer users are (77 vs. 74).

The survey did also find an increase in popularity of “showrooming” (where customers visit a store to look at the merchandise in person, but then shop online – often via mobile – to get a better price through a competitor). Some 40% of the mobile users measured reported using their mobile phone while in a retail store; however, it wasn’t always to check price comparison sites or competitors – many shoppers are using mobiles to check that company’s own website. However, the research said it was true that a smaller, less satisfied group of mobile shoppers are accessing a competitor’s site or app while instore. 

Understand mobile shopping habits

As a whole, users who accessed mobile sites or apps to make a purchase and/or compare products were highly satisfied. More than half of the respondents used a mobile site or app to look up price information and 32% compared products. The report said that, by understanding how mobile shoppers are using their phones and tablets, retailers can decide what kind of functionality to prioritise and improve the experience for customers.

“It’s plain and simple: companies that are not measuring the mobile customer experience are operating in the dark. It’s time to turn on the lights,” commented Larry Freed, chief executive at ForeSee. “Measuring mobile satisfaction is no longer an add-on for companies to consider. Phones and tablets are an integral nexus of online traffic and serve as companion channels to virtually every other customer touchpoint.”

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