Retailers mobile sites lag behind as customer satisfaction gap between mobile and desktop retail sites widens
Marks & Spencer and Tesco have ranked best for customer satisfaction on their mobile sites, but may retailers still lag behind on their mobile sites, according to a new survey.Customer experience analytics firm Forsee has announced the findings of its annual mobile retail report, which measures customer experience across the UK’s top 10 (as defined by Internet Retailer) mobile retail websites in the UK.
The research, carried out among nearly 2,500 surveys as part of the ForeSee Experience Index (FXI), serves to investigate the impact mobile shopping has had on those retailers, and provides valuable insight on how UK shoppers are using their mobiles to browse, research and purchase goods.
“This is the first year that we’ve reported on the customer satisfaction performance of the UK’s top 10 mobile e-commerce retailers at a company level,” said Eric Feinberg, senior director of mobile at ForeSee. “The findings are insightful and clearly show how the top mobile sites are lagging behind the top website counterparts.”
Feinberg continued: “Established ForeSee research shows that every one-point increase in satisfaction translates into a 10.6 percent rise in a retailer’s online revenues, which provides tremendous opportunity. While as yet mobile sales do not represent as high a proportion of a retailer’s total sales as their Web presence, we found a four-point customer satisfaction gap between mobile sites and traditional websites. This indicates a significant performance shortfall on the mobile front — and a significant opportunity that UK retailers can immediately address. It’s important to remember that customers are using mobiles as a research medium too, to decide what products to buy from which retailers using which channels, so a less than satisfactory initial mobile experience also has the potential to drive buyers away from other channels like stores and call centres and into the arms of a competitor.”
Key Research Findings
• Mobile Satisfaction Versus Traditional Websites — The gap in satisfaction between retail website experiences and mobile sites is widening. A full four points divides the two, with the top 10 mobile sites averaging a score of 73 (on a 100 point scale) on the ForeSee Experience Index (FXI), as compared with the 77 averaged by their Web-based equivalents.
o Mobile Versus Web: Of the companies that feature in both the top 10 mobile sites and top 40 retail websites, only one — Tesco — is more highly ranked for its mobile site (75) than for its website (74). Sports Direct (74), NEXT (74) and Currys (70) score the same across both media. And Marks & Spencer, despite its position at the top of the mobile table, lags its website score (77).
o The “Leaders”: The UK mobile customer experience landscape is not fully settled yet. Disappointingly none of the top 10 mobile sites achieved a score of 80 or above — generally considered the threshold for excellence. Marks & Spencer and Tesco top the chart for satisfaction — with both scoring 75 points. Sports Direct and NEXT take joint second place with 74 points apiece, and N Brown, Ocado and Sainsbury’s all score 73.
o The “Lagger”: Shop Direct comes in at tenth place, with a low score of 69.
Mobile Customer Journeys: 59 percent of mobile site or app users started their journey on the company website, rather than in-store or on their mobile device. 62 percent of purchasers completed their final purchase through the company’s website and had higher satisfaction than the 23 percent who purchased in the store (76 compared with 74).
• Mobile Use: When customers were asked how they used their mobile device while shopping, 46 percent said they used it to research products, 20 percent made purchases from their mobile device, 15 percent used their mobile device to compare prices and products while shopping in person in a store and seven percent used the company's mobile app. 36 percent did not use their mobile device while shopping during the festive season.
• Showrooming: While shopping in retail stores, 64 percent accessed the retailer’s website on their mobile device, 29 percent accessed a competitor's website and 17 percent accessed a shopping comparison website. Nine percent accessed the company's app, and 4 percent accessed a competitor's app on their mobile device while shopping in retail stores during the festive season.
• Customer Satisfaction Matters: Highly satisfied mobile shoppers (with a score of 80 or more) are 69 percent more likely to purchase from that retailer in the mobile channel, 53 percent more likely to buy from that retailer in another channel, 59 percent more likely to buy from that retailer the next time they make a similar purchase and 55 percent more likely to recommend the retailer, mobile website or app.
• Social Influence: Customers influenced to purchase through text messages or alerts scored the highest satisfaction (78), followed by social network advertisements and recommendations from friends through a social network (both scoring 77 apiece). Purchases made through search engine results scored one of the lowest satisfaction scores —72 points.
Feinberg continued: “With eMarketer estimating UK smartphone usage to hit 34.6 million (53.7% of the population) this year and to reach 37.8 million in 2015, you can see why an average or less-than-satisfactory customer experience should be a great and growing concern to UK’s retailers. The simple truth is that if a retailer gets their mobile strategy anything other than right, the consumer will go to another retailer or to Amazon. While amazon.co.uk is not listed as one of Internet Retailer’s top 10 mobile sites, we did investigate its own mobile site as an aside and it scored 80 points — considerably ahead of any company featured in the top 10. However, it’s interesting to note that this score also lags behind its own website score by a full four points — suggesting that even the mighty Amazon has some room for improvement when it comes to mobile.”
ForeSee’s UK Managing Director Ben Stollard added: “With mobile growing exponentially in importance as a gateway interface between retailers and their customers, it is critical that retailers give customers a great experience — and nothing less than that provided by their website offering will do. Consumers make no distinctions between channels and they expect the experience of interacting with a retailer to be seamless.
“Retailers who offer the best mobile experience will be in the best position to capitalise on sales opportunities, but those who fail to satisfy through this platform run the risk of damaging the brand and its prospects across all channels,” Feinberg concluded.