The introduction of the new marketing channel provides a small window of opportunity for companies to get processes in place to provide quality customer experiences. The window for mobile marketing is rapidly closing as shown by the ForeSee Mobile Retail Satisfaction Index. The survey of more than 6,200 consumers investigated the role that mobile plays in “showrooming” on people’s buying behavior. “Showrooming” is the practice of checking out merchandise in a retail store before shopping for it online to find a better price.
“The mobile platform is maturing much faster than the PC platform. We see it in the rate of consumer adoption, and fortunately we are seeing it in how well the top retailers are adapting to multichannel consumers who are embracing yet another powerful tool,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee. “But retailers shouldn’t get too comfortable because change is just about the only thing you can count on. Consumers expect retailers to provide a consistent and seamless experience, regardless of the channel.”
Surprisingly, most (62%) of the nearly 70% of survey respondents that reported using a mobile phone in a retail store accessed that store’s site or app. Don’t be fooled by that number. A competitive threat still exists because 37% reported accessing a competitor’s site or app. Creating strong cross channel relationships is becoming increasingly important. Knowing where and how your customers shop your business services and products is critical to creating an effective multichannel strategy.
According to the survey, 57% of the respondents visited the company’s website before going to the store. Only 6% visited a mobile channel as their first interaction with the company. Both reported high satisfaction levels of 80 points. A small percentage (9%) visited a competitor’s website first. This group reported a satisfaction level of 74 points showing that a small difference can drive your customers to your competitors.
The lessons learned from the top retail companies providing satisfactory mobile experiences can be used in almost every industry. The addition of new channels provides an opportunity to connect with customers in a variety of ways. It does not change the need to provide high-quality shopping and buying experiences. Happy customers that trust your company are more likely to remain loyal. Creating a consistent and easy shopping experience across all channels will keep customers coming back.
Key findings from the Satisfaction Index include:
- 40% of consumers surveyed use a mobile site or app to compare different products while 55% looked up prices. [Click to Tweet]
- 29% of the participants looked up product specifications and viewed product reviews on their mobile device. [Click to Tweet]
- 27% used a mobile device to make a purchase. [Click to Tweet]
- 56% used a mobile phone to access the Internet to research products. [Click to Tweet]
- 54% of the respondents using a mobile device made their purchase from a website. [Click to Tweet]
Tips for optimizing your customers’ cross channel experience:
Make it easy for them to cross channels. The shopping experience needs to be consistent even though it will be different. The screen size matters. Design your mobile site or to fit a variety of screens. Optimize page load times to get the information requested quickly.
Provide detailed product specifications and usage information. People research before they buy. Providing the information they need on your website reduces their research time and eliminates the need to look elsewhere.
Don’t make pricing your top priority. Trustworthiness is more important than pricing if your prices are fair and competitive. While there are hit-and-run shoppers who make buying decisions solely on price, long-term customers value the experience more.
Let your customers define your channels. Demographics are still important when creating a marketing strategy. Know your customers well including how they shop and where. Optimize your channels by customer usage. If your customers are not utilizing a channel there is no need for you to have a presence.