Marks & Spencer tops eChannel Retail Benchmark study after launching a new generation of mobile channels

By Derek Eccleston

Marks & Spencer recently launched the latest generation of their mobile channels, with an improved homepage, navigation and product pages to bring them in line with the retailers traditional website and provide a clear and consistent customer experience across channels. Surveyors were particularly impressed with the retailers newly designed homepage, with stronger imagery, rolling promotional offers and clearer navigational links.

Whilst consumers have said time and time again that they prefer functionality and usability over the design and layout of a mobile site, our eChannel Retail Benchmark results prove that retailers can still create an appealing yet functionable mobile site that allows consumers to shop quickly and easily on the move, but also provides some added inspiration.

The latest eCustomerServiceIndex results from eDigitalResearch and IMRG reaffirms the importance of online and mobile channels, as 41% of smartphone owners expect to make some Christmas purchases from their mobile this festive season, a number which has grown 20% year-on-year.

The eChannel Retail Benchmark study looks at 14 of the UK’s top performing multichannel retailers, assessing the entire end-to-end customer journey across their website, mobile site and transactional mobile app. The study found that eRetail sites continue to outperform their mobile counterparts, with many retail mobile apps needing to make the biggest improvements. Retailers particularly need to improve their homepage, product pages and purchase sections of their mobile customer journey to bring them in line with overall online shopper expectations.

The results also show that those brands which make a significant effort to reflect the main website branding and features onto their mobile channels performed better overall. For example, those mobile sites whose navigational links, product filters or promotional offers match their online counterpart often scored higher with users throughout the benchmark, particularly those familiar with the main website. Creating a consistent experience across all three channels was a key differentiator for those retailers who topped the benchmark and is something that brands must take into account when developing additional online and mobile customer channels.

Mobile channels are about making the quick quicker and the big bigger. Retailers need to simplify the mobile shopping journey and encourage repeat purchases, whilst still keeping it in line with the rest of the brand. We are increasingly seeing consumers using their smartphones to shop outside of the home and by integrating key mobile features, such as barcode scanners, into a mobile site or app will help mobile channels to cement its position as the glue that binds the online and store worlds together and help retailers towards providing a seamless multichannel customer experience.

To download your copy of the eChannel Retail Benchmark report, please complete the following short registration survey: https://ecustomeropinions.com/survey/survey.php?sid=858969024. Alternatively, please sign up or log into the benchmark area of the eDigitalResearch website for access to this report, as well as past studies.

Survey Information

An eMysteryShopper survey was conducted to compare the end to end usability of 14 leading UK retail websites, mobile sites and transactional mobile apps. The fieldwork was carried out using the eMysteryShopper panel of internet users during July and August 2012. The benchmark measures included:

    · Homepage

    · Search

    · Navigation

    · Product Pages

    · Shopping Basket

    · Purchase (checkout)

About the author and eDigitalResearch

Derek Eccleston is Head of Research at eDigitalResearch.

eDigitalResearch are insight specialists with an expertise in online and multichannel business. We bring passionate researchers, technical experts and art designers together all under one roof to work with clients and create bespoke insight programmes. eDigitalResearch not only offer unrivalled digital research expertise and insight support, but state-of-the-art technology and innovation that works seamlessly with your systems and data across customer touch points. Our products and services help you to reach your customers no matter how they interact with businesses. For more information please visit www.edigitalresearch.com or email info@edigitalresearch.com.

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