There’s a first time for everything.
In our most recent Retail and Consumer Shipping Report – where customer satisfaction dipped 0.9 percent to an ACSI score of 77.4 (out of 100) – one of those firsts was the inclusion of Costco, Etsy, Wayfair, and other major internet retailers to the list. But it didn’t stop there.
For the first time since 2010, Amazon lost its grip on the e-commerce space. The new king of internet retail? Costco, with an ACSI score of 83.
One other first stood out, an element within internet retail that we officially measured for the first time: mobile app satisfaction.
The highs and lows of the mobile experience
If you consider e-commerce a hot market, then the use of mobile in retail is like walking on the sun. Unfortunately, while some companies know how to walk the walk, others, not so much.
The HP Store earned the highest ACSI score for mobile reliability with an 88, however it also came in with the lowest mobile quality score at 72.
Staples struggled in both categories, scoring 76 in mobile reliability and 78 in mobile quality. Sears had the same marks but reversed, with 78 in reliability and 76 in quality.
On the flip side, Amazon, which scored an 87 in both mobile reliability and mobile quality, and Etsy, which also scored an 87 in reliability and recorded a category-best 88 in quality, appear to have cracked the code.
“There’s an app for that” is a cliché for a reason. Every company recognizes the importance of creating a footprint in the mobile market. The real question is, what can companies do to differentiate their application from the competition?
Amazon’s staying power
Consumers don’t just download Amazon’s app; they keep it. Some 76 percent of millennials have Amazon’s mobile app on their phone.
Lincoln Merrihew, senior vice president of client services at Millward Brown Digital, Boston, sees a correlation between the success of Amazon’s app and the success of its overall business model. Merrihew told Retail Dive he sees Amazon as a “combination of a transaction environment and a search engine,” and this works out in its favor.
Amazon offers “one-click ordering and fast shipping options” and has the highest penetration rate among shoppers at 76 percent.
Its app is easy to navigate, easy to use, and offers “special app-only functions.” On top of that, Amazon gives consumers a consistent experience across all of its mobile platforms.
Amazon is truly a “one-stop shop for consumers,” noted Claudia Hoffner, vice president of global marketing for Feedvisor, based on a recent study conducted by the company. It knows what its customers want, where they’re going, and how they’re behaving.
Now that more people are turning to mobile shopping, Amazon continues to make it a priority to adhere to its customers’ needs, thus helping the company maintain customer loyalty.
Etsy listens to its customers
Meanwhile, Etsy pays considerable attention to consistently improving customer experiences. Which is why it redesigned the homepage of its mobile app by including “recommendations.”
“We designed and built the new home screen to give shoppers a better and more inspiring experience on Etsy’s mobile apps,” said Bowen Slate-Green, product manager at Etsy, New York, to Retail Dive. “By providing shoppers with an improved experience, they can better find items and shops that intrigue them.”
By implementing a feature that helps personalize the user experience, Etsy is creating a simpler shopping experience for its customers. Users no longer need to spend time searching for products, Etsy has already done that for them. This streamlines the process, and puts the items shoppers find appealing – based on previous searches and purchases – right in front of them. Consumers are likely already on Etsy because they want to shop. Now there’s less hurdles involved.
Said Slate-Green: “Mobile is a priority for us and the new home screen in the Etsy apps is the latest of our enhanced mobile offerings. Going forward, we will continue to develop and roll out new features that improve the overall experience for our mobile-focused community of shoppers and creative entrepreneurs.”
If Etsy continues catering to its individual customers by making its app more personal and embracing the power of technological advancements, it will likely remain among the leaders in mobile customer satisfaction.
Companies must continue to focus on mobile
This was the first year we looked at customer satisfaction with mobile apps within retail, but it certainly won’t be the last.
As we’ve noted before, consumers are becoming increasingly reliant on their mobile devices. They use their phones to do everything from browse the web and watch their favorite movies and TV shows to shop, shop, and shop some more.
Smart companies are recognizing this growing trend and are taking the steps needed to ensure their customers have the smoothest possible mobile experience.
Amazon and Etsy are off to a hot start. But the race has only just begun.