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Traditional retailers outperform pure plays in digital customer experience: new study

New research as shown that traditional high street retailers John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser have all outperformed pure play retailers with regard to the digital customer experience after offering customers the same brand experience across all of their digital channels.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Traditional retailers outperform pure plays in digital customer experience: new study

Results from the latest eChannel Retail Benchmark study from eDigitalResearch measured the customer experience across key digital channels – including websites, mobile sites and apps – over the crucial Christmas trading period.

The results show that John Lewis’s digital customer experience topped the multichannel customer satisfaction table, followed closely by Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser. Pure play giant Amazon slipped to fourth place.

Traditional high street retailers may have been a little slower than their pure play counterparts to join the digital touch point revolution, but the results show that after investing heavily in establishing a seamless multichannel customer experience, some bricks and mortar department store retailers are now outperforming the rest of the retail industry.

John Lewis launched its first transactional mobile app last summer while House of Fraser recently introduced its ‘mobile first’ website redesign after seeing almost half of website visits coming from mobile users.

The study found that all three of John Lewis’s digital channels ranked highest for their navigation and search facilities. Survey respondents were particularly impressed by the clearly defined menu options and ‘accordion’ mobile menu style functionality, which made it easier for customers to access the retailer’s product range irrespective of which digital channel they were using.

Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser shared second place in the rankings for providing an overall best in class mobile app and mobile site respectively. Survey respondents particularly liked Marks & Spencer’s ‘inspirational and engaging’ mobile app home page and the detailed yet simple product pages, while the speed and accuracy of House of Fraser’s search features was also welcomed.

Derek Eccleston, commercial director at eDigitalResearch, said: “Creating a seamless digital customer experience is nothing new but retailers who have done well in this latest set of eChannel Benchmark results have done so because they do exactly this. Navigational links, product page details and even search results all match seamlessly across the top retailer’s digital channels.

“We’ve long seen pure play retailers, especially Amazon, succeed extremely well in the digital customer experience arena, introducing innovations such as one click purchases to make the entire Amazon experience as simple and seamless as possible. However, as more traditional retailers continue to invest in their overall customer experience, we’re seeing other retailers introduce similar innovations as well. John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser have topped the eChannel Benchmark this time around as they not only provide as easy to use website, mobile site and app with a clear focus on functionality, but also incorporate their brand persona into every stitch of their digital presence to provide users with an inspirational digital brand experience.”

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