Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
According to a study from OpinionLab, a VoC solution provider, shoppers are demanding more streamlined shopping experiences, especially as they relate to mobile transactions.
The Holiday 2012 eCommerce Site Experience Findings report analyzed customer feedback from more than 43,000 online shoppers from Nov. 1, 2012 to Dec. 11. Satisfaction and experience scores were calculated using a Site Opinion Rating system: a scale from one to five, weighted to reflect key drivers of satisfaction, loyalty and purchase intent. Satisfaction was segmented by purpose of visit: customer service, to locate a store, research/browse/price hunt, and to purchase.
Results showed that consumers "embraced tablets" more than other devices to research, browse and price hunt, giving the technology a 3.65 rating. In comparison, smartphones (3.47) and desktops (2.94) received relatively low marks. But sentiment among consumers using their tablets to purchase an item was drastically low: shoppers gave their experiences only a 2.39 out of the possible 5.
"The tablet struggles in the purchasing experience," said Michael Whitehouse, senior marketing analyst at OpinionLab. "There is a massive gap between its use for purchasing and browsing. I believe this really speaks to the maturity of the tablet as a platform and strategy for retailers."
The top rating in purchasing was the desktop (2.90). Mobile ranked fairly close to tablet in purchasing rating with a 2.49.
Overall, mobile phones ranked the lowest in overall e-commerce experience satisfaction, with a rating of 3.19 versus 3.61 for tablets and 3.54 for the desktop.
"Generally, retailers have done a great job of providing 'second screen content strategies' for mobile browsing and researching. But for the transaction experience — either via apps or the mobile web — retailers aren't where they should be," Mr. Whitehouse said.
Because retailers still are relatively "behind the mobile curve," Mr. Whitehouse advised that organizations focus on "ease of shopping and intuitiveness of purchasing processes." In fact, when visiting a retailer's mobile web site, 42 percent of smartphone users and 34 percent of tablet shoppers indicated that they wanted to buy a product during their online sessions, but didn't complete a transaction due to poor buying experiences.
"Consumers are looking to transact on their mobile devices," Mr. Whitehouse said. "This intent is running faster than retailers' abilities to provide those seamless cross-channel experiences."
What's the likelihood that retailers will notably improve the purchasing experience on tablets and mobile phones over the next year?