It’s Not Just the Tool, It’s the Experience!


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Have you noticed the recent mad rush among retailers to make mobile shopping available in their stores?

Rather than the classic line from the movie Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come,” consumers are already coming into stores equipped with smart phones and the retailers are having to build a mobile phone shopping opportunity for them.  The lesson for us all, “it’s not just the tool, it’s the quality of the experience!

Nearly six in 10 mobile users say they’ll be doing holiday shopping from their phones but according to research from Compuware more than 50% of customers say they won’t return to a mobile site if they have a poor experience.

While customers expect that mobile phone applications and sites will work as well as their laptop computers, Thanksgiving shoppers rated their mobile device shopping experience as only tolerable.

For those of you who think mobile phone apps are all fun and entertainment – shopping apps are a serious business.  Here are just a few examples of what you could enjoy from a well designed mobile retail experience:

  1. helpful price comparisons,
  2. locating your hard to locate items,
  3. receiving loyalty rewards benefits, and
  4. having discounts targeted to you based on your shopping preferences

If you look at the benefits of price comparison alone, a USA Today article entitled “More consumer let their smart phones do the shopping” suggests,

“…Now, consumers can discover competitors’ prices while in a store, thanks to mobile sites and apps such as PriceGrabber, which more than half a million consumers have downloaded.The iPhone and Android application is the mobile incarnation of PriceGrabber’s website, which attracts about 26 million shoppers each month. Using the mobile app, shoppers can scan an item at a store and see information on the best price on the product across multiple retailers. They can try to haggle for a better deal while they’re in the store, or buy it for less through a competitor PriceGrabber has discovered. The service even calculates exactly how much the purchase will be when shipped directly to a consumer’s home, showing which option is the least expensive down to the last cent…On Black Friday, consumers used the iPhone app most often to search for price comparisons on electronics, computers, cameras, appliances and toys…”

According to the Compuware Gomez User Experience Index here are the top 5 performing retail mobile websites out of the 15 largest retail mobile web destinations (based on sales):

  1. QVC
  2. Newegg
  3. Dell
  4. Williams Sonoma
  5. OfficeMax

Remaining Big 15: Amazon, Best Buy,  HSN, Macy’s, Netflix, Office Depot, Sears, Target, Victoria’s Secret and Walmart.

While the upside of technology is exciting, execution of the promise of the experience is critical.  Also think about how mobile technology will affect price conscious shoppers…

What will it take for your customers to say, “it’s not worth it for me to go elsewhere to save a little money, I want to buy this here?”

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Michelli, Ph.D.
Joseph Michelli, Ph.D., an organizational consultant and the chief experience officer of The Michelli Experience, authored The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and the best-selling The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary.


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