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Target Bests Wal-Mart, Best Buy Among Mobile Shoppers

Retailer scores highest in both ranking of shopping experiences and likelihood to recommend to others, a new study finds.

Target Corp. took the equivalent of two gold medals in site-to-site matchups with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Best Buy Co. Inc. in consumer rankings based on their mobile device shopping experiences.

Prosper Insights & Analytics, a Worthington, Ohio-based research and analysis firm, teamed with Encino, Calif.-based uSamp to poll 341 smartphone and tablet users — contacting them on their mobile devices — to obtain grades on both the consumers’ experience on the retailers’ sites and the likelihood that they would recommend the sites to a friend or colleague.

Target prevailed by both standards, achieving a Net Promoter Score, or NPS, of 11.3 percent versus a minus 1 percent mark for Best Buy and a minus 19.8 percent mark for Wal-Mart.

The NPS was arrived at when consumers were asked how likely they were to recommend to others shopping on a Web site with a smartphone or a tablet on a scale from zero, for not at all likely, to 10, for extremely likely. Those in the zero-to-six range were classified as “detractors,” those at seven and eight, “passive,” and those at nine or 10 were labeled “promoters.” The NPS is the difference between the “promoters” and the “detractors.”

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Target received “extremely likely” marks from more than a quarter of the respondents — 26.9 percent — well above the 16.5 percent who granted a 10 to Wal-Mart or the 12.5 percent who doled out the same kudos to Best Buy.

Additionally, 83.4 percent rated their m-commerce experience with Target to be either excellent (31.6 percent) or good (51.8 percent), versus 71.9 percent for Wal-Mart (18.7 percent excellent and 53.2 percent good) and 69.2 percent for Best Buy (17.9 percent excellent and 51.3 percent good).

“These findings suggest that a satisfactory mobile experience in itself doesn’t necessarily lead to retailer advocacy,” said Pam Goodfellow, analyst for Prosper Insights & Analytics. “As mobile continues to grow, omnichannel retailers are increasingly challenged with converting their ‘shoppers’ into ‘buyers’ — and winning a repeat visit. Delightful experiences, consistent messaging and excellent service delivered through all channels are paramount when building this sought-after loyal customer base.”

Best Buy last month responded to a weak fourth quarter by instituting a price-matching program aimed at blunting the effect of what chief executive officer Hubert Joly described as the “so-called showrooming phenomenon,” in which consumers do real-time comparison shopping on their mobile devices to find the same or similar products for less.

Among those surveyed, 28.9 percent had used a mobile device to shop Wal-Mart versus 27.7 percent of respondents for Target and 22 percent for Best Buy.

The respondents came from uSamp’s Mobile Panel.