Six months ago when Loyalty360 talked to Vincent Ircandia, senior vice president of business operations for the Portland Trail Blazers, he talked about building deeper, more personalized fan relationships, honing in on a key area of engagement: Mobile.

“I think that a lot of what we’re seeing and focusing on is the mobile device right now,” Ircandia said at the time. “We are the No. 1 team in the NBA in terms of our share of web traffic being done on mobile devices.”

The Trail Blazers’ focus on mobile is not lost on loyalty marketers, especially during the holiday season.
Results of the 12th annual ForeSee Experience Index identified the top brands for retail customer experience this holiday season. The study encompasses most major retailers, including brands such as Kohl’s (toe to toe with Apple across channels) and Amazon (down one point year over year online).

“This data is critical to retail executives, analysts, and investors because customer experience is a proven predictor of future financial performance,” said Eric Feinberg, vice president at ForeSee and author of the report. “This year’s study identifies several significant trends for retail executives to consider, especially when working across store, web, and mobile channels.”

Feinberg said the most significant of these trends is the rapidly shifting landscape of customer purchasing journeys.

“Mobile is especially pervasive and contributes the most to other channels overall,” the study notes. “Fifty percent of shoppers use their phone in-store—fifty-nine percent of those to price check, and fifty percent to research while shopping.”

Mobile customer experience scored an impressive 80 in this year’s FXI (80 or above is considered an excellent score). It is the only one of the three channels measured to have an excellent score since Store CX ranked 82 in 2011.

Amazon, Apple, Coach, H&M, L.L. Bean, HSN, Newegg, Nike, Under Armour, Best Buy, Express, Kohl’s, and Neiman Marcus all received excellent mobile scores in this year’s FXI.

Customers that have great mobile experiences are:

64 percent more likely to purchase from that retailer’s mobile site/app

42 percent more likely to make a purchase in another channel

50 percent more likely to buy from that retailer the next time they buy similar merchandise

54 percent more likely to recommend the store

“Mobile contribution is a critical metric to consider,” Feinberg said. “When consumers visit a retailer on mobile, there is 13 to 26 percent 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.”

Meanwhile, Amazon retained the top spot for online customer experience, followed by Adidas, L.L. Bean, Apple, Best Buy, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Vistaprint, Bed Bath & Beyond, Fanatics, Home Depot, Office Depot, Victoria’s Secret, Walmart, and Williams-Sonoma—who all achieved excellent scores on the 100-point FXI scale.

Overall, web satisfaction has held steady with an average FXI score of 79. Customers that have great customer experiences online are:

60 percent more likely to buy from the website

58 percent more likely to buy from another channel

64 percent more likely to buy similar merchandise from that retailer again

64 percent more likely to recommend the retailer

Overall, satisfaction with store experiences lagged behind web and mobile, with an average FXI score of 78. Customers that have great in-store customer experiences are:

50 percent more likely to purchase in-store

60 percent more likely to buy similar merchandise from that retailer again

74 percent more likely to recommend the store

The top store customer experience performers, who all received excellent FXI scores, are Saks Fifth Avenue, Apple, Lowe’s, Neiman Marcus, AT&T, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Ann Taylor, and Costco.

“It’s not just high-end stores like Saks that perform well,” Feinberg said. “Retailers such as Kohl’s and Costco are delivering on customers’ expectations of their brands, and the stores remain a frontline driver of brand perception and purchase intent across channels. In a shopping season where 86 percent of customers are spending as much or more than they did last year, the potential impact of store experiences on other channels is powerful.”

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