With consumers increasingly blind to which "channel" they use during their multi-touch point shopping journeys, it's no longer sufficient for a retailer to offer a great customer experience in one channel but to fall short in another. Unfortunately, a survey of the top 50 U.S. retailers reveals that strong CX ratings across all three channels — store, web and mobile — are still the exception rather than the rule.
Only Kohl's and Apple achieved CX scores over 80 (the threshold for excellence on a 100-point scale) across all three channels in the 12th annual ForeSee Experience Index (FXI) survey. The FXI applies analytical methodology to a panel of 40,000 shoppers who browsed or purchased in web, mobile and store channels from Nov. 4 to Dec. 2, 2016.
• The overall store and web CX scores have held steady at 78 and 79 respectively;
• This year, mobile has moved up a point to crack the 80-point threshold;
• Other strong mobile performers included Amazon, Coach, H&M, L.L. Bean, HSN, Newegg, Nike, Under Armour, Best Buy, Express and Neiman Marcus; and
• Walmart needs to work on its store experience; while it scored 80 for the web and 77 on mobile, its store score of 72 was the lowest among the 11 retailers that were measured in all three channels.
Mobile Influence Grows
No single channel is siloed in terms of revenue generation, but mobile's influence is pervasive and contributes the most to other channels overall. Half of shoppers use their phones in-store: 59% to price check, and 50% to conduct research while shopping.
"Mobile contribution is a critical metric to consider," said Eric Feinberg, VP at ForeSee and the report's author. "When consumers visit a retailer on mobile, there is a 13% to 26% attrition to competitors. To manage this, brands must measure and understand the contribution mobile makes to all channels, not just that mobile session. For example, showrooming — a practice store retailers have generally disliked — often results in a boost in sales because an individual's experience in one channel can lead to a purchase in another."
Customers that have great mobile experiences are:
• 64% more likely to purchase from that retailer's mobile site or app;
• 42% more likely to make a purchase in another channel;
• 50% more likely to buy from that retailer the next time they buy similar merchandise; and
• 54% more likely to recommend the store.
Amazon Leads On The Web
The pure play giant Amazon has maintained its CX lead online but it is not untouchable. Its FXI score of 85 is down one point year-over-year, and retailers including Adidas, L.L. Bean, Toys "R" Us, Best Buy and JCPenney all achieved scores of 81 or higher.
Nearly all retailers compete with Amazon in some way, regardless of channel: 84% of store shoppers have purchased from Amazon in the past year; and 59% shop at Amazon at least once a month.
Shoppers who enjoy great online experiences are:
• 60% more likely to buy from the branded web site;
• 58% more likely to buy from that brand through another channel;
• 64% more likely to buy similar merchandise from that retailer again; and
• 64% more likely to recommend the retailer.
All Types Of Stores Offer Great CX
The in-store experience remains influential even if its average CX score has stagnated. Shoppers with great in-store experiences are:
• 50% more likely to purchase in-store;
• 60% more likely to buy similar merchandise from that retailer again; and
• 74% more likely to recommend the store.
And while the FXI leader list for store experience includes large brands such as Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom, the group expands beyond large size and luxury. "Retailers such as Kohl's and Costco are delivering on customers' expectations of their brands, and the stores remain a front-line driver of brand perception and purchase intent across channels," said Feinberg in a statement. "In a shopping season where 86% of customers are spending as much or more than they did last year, the potential impact of store experiences on other channels is powerful."