Amazon, Williams-Sonoma and Kohl's had the best customer experience across channels — i.e., brick-and-mortar, web and mobile — in the latest Retail Customer Experience report from customer experience solutions firm ForeSee.
Amazon, Costco, Kohl's and Nordstrom each took a top spot in two out of three sales channels. Tractor Supply — a " rural lifestyle" chain selling a range of merchandise including livestock and pet supplies, hardware, apparel and toys — ranked first on the web, ForeSee said Wednesday in its report. Nordstrom ranked second and Costco ranked third below Tractor Supply in web experience, with Amazon fourth. Apple, Nike and Costco ranked highest in store experience, while Williams-Sonoma, Amazon and Neiman Marcus were the top retailers on mobile.
More than half (57%) of shoppers are using a mobile device while shopping in a store, and nearly half (49%) who start shopping with a mobile device are now staying in mobile through the purchase, up from 33% last year, the study also found. Many (41%) are using two or more channels during the purchase process.
With the help of their phones, consumers are taking 'channel surfing' (between web, mobile and store) to new levels, according to ForeSee's number crunching. It's become the norm, really, with retail customers creating their own purchase path from browse to buy. In fact, this year's report confirmed that more than a quarter of purchases were made in a different channel than where the journey started, according to ForeSee's report.
For retailers, maintaining their level of customer service and eliminating pain points is now critical no matter how their customers choose to interact with them.
"Winning retailers understand just how critical customer engagement is — and a consistent customer experience across channels is a requirement for delivering on customer expectations," Nikki Baird, managing partner at RSR Research, said in a statement. "Retailers need to take note that, while there are some highly competitive companies topping the ForeSee Retail CX Rankings, there is still a lot of opportunity to provide a truly differentiated customer experience, especially considering that no retailer ranks highly across all three channels."
There's opportunity for retailers in the reality that shoppers are seeking them out on- and offline, on various devices and on their feet, ForeSee Vice President and report author Eric Feinberg said in a statement.
"This year's Retail CX Rankings mark a tipping point towards an all-channel shopping experience," he said. "There is an incredible opportunity for retailers to benefit from the growth in channel surfing, most notably within the fast-rising contribution of mobile to the overall customer journey."