Of the nation’s biggest e-commerce companies, Amazon.com, Apple and QVC have the best mobile commerce platforms.
This story first appeared in the February 12, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
That’s according to a survey of 6,200 consumers being released today by ForeSee, a firm that analyzes and measures customer satisfaction. Rounding out the top five were Newegg, the electronics-focused Web site, and Victoria’s Secret, while Target, Barnes & Noble, Sears and Wal-Mart made solid headway in the mobile channel.
“Amazon is totally focused on the customer experience,” said Larry Freed, president and chief executive officer of ForeSee. “It’s an easy-to-use mobile site with great merchandise selection and great features like bar-code scanning.”
Though Apple was ranked high, “they had some challenges on the Web last holiday season and dropped a couple of points,” Freed said. “One of the main reasons was the wider variety of products. It made it harder for customers to decide. However, Apple’s mobile site is still a pretty easy-to-use environment” and remains focused on customer experience, Freed said.
The survey — called the ForeSee Mobile Satisfaction Index: Holiday Retail Edition — was conducted between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when mobile usage skyrocketed. Consumers were asked to rate the mobile sites of high-volume e-commerce companies based on such criteria as functionality, merchandise presentation, pricing and special features such as bar-code scanning. From the ratings, ForeSee compiled scores that could have ranged from one to 100. Amazon topped ForeSee’s list with a score of 85. Apple and QVC tied at 83. Newegg and Victoria’s Secret both scored 80.
ShopNBC had the lowest score at 73, while Gilt.com, Overstock, RueLaLa and Sears were near the lowest with scores of 74. Yet Sears, as well as Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart and Target, gained points by making improvements to its mobile site over the past year.
Among the key findings:
• Consumer satisfaction with mobile sites is improving, as the index average rose to 78 out of a possible 100, from 76 in holiday 2011, when the survey on mobile sites was conducted for the first time.
• Satisfied customers were 64 percent more likely to revisit a site than dissatisfied ones.
• Showrooming is common but may not be as big of a threat to brick and mortar as it is widely perceived to be. Nearly 70 percent of the respondents reported using a mobile phone while in a retail store during the holiday season, and 62 percent accessed that store’s site or app rather than a competitor’s. But the threat of showrooming still exists, with 37 percent accessing a competitor’s site or app.
Eric Feinberg, senior director of mobile at ForeSee and coauthor of the report, said showrooming is as much of an opportunity as it is a threat. “Retailers need to engage their customers equally well through all channels, especially through mobile sites and apps, or risk losing customers and sales to competitors that do a better job of meeting their needs,” Feinberg said.
Barnes & Noble, Foot Locker and HSN tied at 79; Costco, Hewlett-Packard, Kohl’s and Sportsmansguide.com came in at 78; Best Buy, Buy.com, J.C. Penney, Macy’s, One Kings Lane, Staples and Target tied at 77, and Wal-Mart scored 75.