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What Your Customers Expect from Mobile and E-commerce in 2014

Mobile shopping coupleForesee Results delivered its latest “Experience Index: U.S. Retail Edition,” outlining customer satisfaction with, well, U.S. consumers’ e-commerce and retail experience (seems kind of obvious, doesn’t it?).

Of course, making a distinction between e-commerce and retail may not make too much sense, given that it’s all e-commerce now. Which, as it happens, the report endorses heartily. One part of the study looked at customer satisfaction with mobile in particular and came away with some surprising findings. Among the most interesting bits:

  1. Mobile isn’t a separate channel; it connects all channels. According to the report:

    “…mobile is affecting direct sales contribution and purchases in other channels, too.”

    Of course, you can’t benefit if you’re not prepared. I’d recommend considering these tips for gaining more business now that it’s all e-commerce.

  2. Customer reviews matter. A lot. Again, as the report mentions:

    “…consumers’ feedback cannot be overlooked. ‘Improving the customer experience has a bigger payback than most other investments…'”

    I’ve mentioned before that focusing on your brand’s reviews is the single most effective way to improve your digital marketing. According to Foresee Results, your customers agree.

  3. The AGFAM players (Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft) are winning the race. As the study notes,

    “Apple and Amazon are both top-ranked mobile retailers, so it makes sense that they also have been top-ranked mobile customer experience providers for three years in a row…”

    I’ve talked about the advantage shared by Apple and Amazon (along with Google, Facebook, and Microsoft) for some time now. But the same tips that help you succeed in a world where it’s all e-commerce matter just as much to compete with the AGFAM folks. The key point is that you don’t want to trust Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, or Microsoft; you want to use them to your advantage.

  4. Customers expect great experiences everywhere. I’ve said this many times before: Customers don’t go online; they are online. They’re now used to the Internet, everywhere. It’s undoubtedly one of the top trends shaping e-commerce in 2014. And they expect positive experiences, regardless of device or location. As the Foresee study notes,

    “According to consumers, functionality on mobile apps and sites was the area for biggest improvement across the mobile retailers.”

    It’s not enough to think about mobile “someday.” Someday is now. Your customers won’t wait.

The whole report is worth checking out, along with Mobile Commerce Daily’s overall coverage of the study. But the key takeaways suggest that you need to continue to focus on improving your customers’ mobile experience to ensure they have a positive experience overall. Because, as someone said somewhere along the way, it’s all e-commerce. And your customers know it.

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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