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Apple and Amazon’s mobile sites produce the highest level of customer satisfaction in the US, according to a new report from ForeSee

During November and December ForeSee surveyed users of the top 40 US retailer sites by sales volume, and was able to collect statistically-reliable data for 16 of them.

With an average score of 76 across the 16 e-tailers, Apple (85) and Amazon (84) are the stand out performers, with Apple’s mobile offering actually registering higher user satisfaction than its normal web page.

Satisfaction scores are measured out of 100, but the study doesn’t differentiate between mobile sites and mobile apps – both are grouped together in the ‘mobile’ category.

E-commerce consultant Dan Barker said that these results are not surprising.

Apple owns a big chunk of the mobile market and has had a strong focus on it for many years. They will have a lot of data around what people do on their mobiles, and they own the app store, so it’s not surprising they are getting it right.”

He said that Amazon has also focused on usability and achieves high satisfaction scores by offering customers different experiences based on desktop or mobile access.

The average drop in satisfaction between web and mobile was three points, however Walmart’s mobile offering scored seven points lower than its web page and Avon’s scored eight points lower.

ForeSee said: “Unless companies improve their mobile shopping capabilities, this gap is likely to become a larger problem for companies as more of the population becomes mobile savvy and expectations for the mobile experience rise.”

The report also highlights a correlation between satisfaction with a mobile site and likelihood to purchase.

Unsurprisingly when consumers have a good mobile experience they are also more likely to buy from that brand using the mobile channel.

The number of respondents who actually made a purchase using a mobile over Christmas was quite low at just 15%, but 19% of respondents used their phone to compare prices when in a store and 34% used it to research products.

This shows that although actual purchases through m-commerce may not be a massive revenue stream at the moment, it is important for retailers to have a mobile presence as consumers are likely to want to research their products and check prices using a phone.

The graph below reveals what mobile shoppers are using their phones for when in-store – this again backs up the case for having a mobile optimised site.

Accepted logic says that a satisfied customer will be more likely to remain loyal to a brand and buy its products, and ForeSee has been able to prove this.

The data shows that shoppers who are highly satisfied with a mobile website (have satisfaction scores of 80 or higher) say they are twice as likely to purchase from the mobile site in the future.

Satisfied mobile customers also report being 54% more likely to consider that company the next time they are making a similar purchase, and 40% more likely than dissatisfied mobile customers to purchase from other channels such as the traditional website or store.

Barker said companies can improve their satisfaction rating by using data available from their current mobile site.

The first thing to do is look at your Google Analytics, find out what people are looking at on your mobile site and then make sure you are giving your customers what they want. Use the data to run some usability tests and start building from there.” 

David Moth

Published 12 January, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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