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Showrooming not happening as much as retailers think: ForeSee

Amazon’s mobile experience beats other retailers for customer satisfaction

Amazon’s mobile experience scored highest among leading retailers for customer satisfaction during the recent holiday shopping period as overall satisfaction with mobile retail improved, according to a new report from ForeSee.

Amazon topped The ForeSee Mobile Satisfaction Index: Holiday Retail Edition with a score of 85. The report also found that out of the 70 percent of shoppers who used a mobile phone while in a retail store during the holidays, 62 percent accessed that store’s site or application and only 37 percent of respondents accessed a competitor’s site or app.

“The idea that everyone is going to be looking at Amazon’s app when they are in Target and Walmart is proving out not to be true and I think retailers need to continue to focus on providing a great integrated experience between that phone and that retail environment so that there is a value add for a consumer when they are in Target to go to Target’s app or site instead of going to Amazon’s,” said Larry Freed, president/CEO of ForeSee, Ann Arbor, MI.

More satisfying experiences
Overall, consumer satisfaction with the mobile experience is improving, with the index climbing two points since the previous holiday season for a score of 78 on the 100-point scale.

The findings are based on a survey of more than 6,200 consumers that was conducted between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2012.

Apple and QVC tied for second place behind Amazon in terms of their satisfaction levels, with each posting a score of 83. They are followed by NewEgg with 80 and Victoria’s Secret, also with 80.

The retailers with the biggest improvement over time was Target, whose score was up 5 points for a total of 77. Victoria’s Secret was also a top gainer, with its score up 5 points.

Additionally, Barnes & Noble gained 4 points for a total of 79.

“It is hard to pinpoint a specific feature or functionality that drove [customer satisfaction],” Mr. Freed said. “It is really about the functionality that you have.

“It is a little bit more challenging, when you think about the uses of a mobile phone compared to a Web site,” he said. “There are more uses for it because sometimes it is about ‘this is the channel that I am dealing with and I am going to research and buy from it.’

“And sometimes it is about being a companion to another channel, like the store. It takes a lot of thought to make sure it is powerful, functional, useful and satisfying to accomplish both of those scenarios.”

Profound value
Other key findings include that the aggregate scores for customer satisfaction for traditional Web and mobile experiences are very similar, with the former scoring 79 and the latter 78. However, there tend to be differences in customer satisfaction levels for individual brands between their Web sites and mobile sites.

Additionally, 57 percent of respondents visited the company’s Web site as their first step in the shopping experience, while only 6 percent used a mobile channel first. Both groups were highly satisfied with their interactions with the company.

“We looked at highly satisfied customers, regardless of channel, compared to the dissatisfied consumers, and the value of providing a satisfying experience is profound,” Mr. Freed said. “It will increase the likelihood that they are going to purchase from you the next time they are looking at similar merchandise by 64 percent.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York