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Mobile sites and apps failing to satisfy – costing some retailers dear, warns study

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Satisfaction with mobile retail websites is dropping compared with ‘fixed’ online versions, and this is costing retailers valuable business, suggests a study into customers satisfaction carried out by customer experience analyst ForeSee. According to its research retail websites in the UK garner an average satisfaction score of 77% while mobile apps and sites have dropped to 73%.

And experience quality matters. The analyst believes that for every one point increase in satisfaction translates to a a 10.6% rise in retailer revenues, anecdotally. It also claims that highly satisfied mobile shoppers (with a score of 80 or more) are 69% more likely to purchase from that retailer in the mobile channel, 53% more likely to buy from that retailer in another channel, 59% more likely to buy from that retailer the next time they make a similar purchase and 55% more likely to recommend the retailer, mobile website or app.

But not all retailers are failing on mobile, the research suggests. Tescos managed to have its m-site more highly ranked than its website (75 points against 74) and Sports Direct, Next and Currys managed to score the same across both and these companies, along with M&S, top the overall satisfaction chart. ShopDirect came in 10th with just 69 point satisfaction score for mobile.

Revealingly, part of why mobile scores lower than web could be because it is used as an interim research tool, rather than the purchase channel. When customers were asked how they used their mobile device while shopping, 46% said they used it to research products, 20% made purchases from their mobile device, 15% used their mobile device to compare prices and products while shopping in person in a store and seven% used the company’s mobile app. 36% did not use their mobile device while shopping during the festive season.

This translates clearly to how consumers use mobile in their purchase journey. 59% of mobile site or app users started their journey on the company website, rather than in-store or on their mobile device. 62% of purchasers completed their final purchase through the company’s website and had higher satisfaction than the 23% who purchased in the store (76 compared with 74).

But satisfaction on mobile matters. Showrooming is still rife, finds the study. While shopping in retail stores, 64% accessed the retailer’s website on their mobile device, 29% accessed a competitor’s website and 17% accessed a shopping comparison website. Nine% accessed the company’s app, and 4% accessed a competitor’s app on their mobile device while shopping in retail stores during the festive season.

With customers hitting the retailer’s site and its competitors while standing in a store means that the site that offers the best service is highly likely to win the business. And as mobile devices such as tablets become ever more integral to how people shop at home, those with good experience on their mobile offerings are going to be the winners.

“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,” warns Eric Feinberg, senior director of mobile at ForeSee. “While amazon.co.uk is not listed as one of our top 10 mobile sites for the survey purposes, 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 adds: “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.”

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