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UK retailers lagging behind Europe and US in mobile in-store experience, study finds

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UK retailers are lagging behind US and European counterparts when it comes to meeting the needs of mobile shoppers in store – but all retailers are not really delivering what mobile shoppers want, according to a study by mobile solutions company DMI.

The Mobile Maturity Model (M3) platform report – which compared 160 global retailers following secret shopper trials of the experiences that retailers offer via mobile devices to customers in their brick-and-mortar stores — reveals that, while some UK retailers maintain comparable scores in the global rankings there’s a large disparity between the regional average scores demonstrating the growing gap between customer expectation and mobile experience.

The average score in the USA was 107/240 – more than double the UK score. US retailers have created a clear competitive advantage in meeting and exceeding customer needs. UK retailers are hampered by legacy IT: underinvestment has caused them to fall behind at the exact time that mobile adoption has sky rocketed.

However, the ‘Mobile Reliants’ audience – those who regularly use their mobile in store, have 3+ retails apps on their smart phone and make purchases via mobile – remains the primary target for in-store experiences, yet brands are underserving them today.

There were some surprising names on the list of UK companies falling far behind in the mobile race. Well known brands from across the supermarket, department store, clothing and homewares sectors had scores several points below the country average, demonstrating a lack of awareness of customer’s mobile needs.

As part of a 2,400 person survey into shopper behaviour and requirements, DMI research found that 56% of respondents would be more likely to make a purchase when shopping in-store from retailers who offered mobile features shoppers’ most desired. The figure rose to 76% amongst the mobile reliants segment. In addition, 81% of mobile reliants said they would have a more positive view of a brand.

Magnus Jern, Chief Innovation Officer at DMI, says: “It’s fascinating to see the variety of retailers included in the top ten: from high end to budget outlets, from homewares to supermarkets and clothing. It demonstrates that good customer service isn’t dependent on price point, but rather a thorough understanding of customer’s needs. Outside of the top ten there is a significant gap in scores between the haves and have-nots. Those who provide a quality mobile experience will continue to achieve higher revenue, customer satisfaction and have better insights and data across channels.”

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