According to Astound Commerce Insights, reported by Lauren Freedman, today’s consumers expect strong mobile sites, want flexible fulfillment options, and use a variety of channels to research and make purchases. Brands must deliver and support if they want to stay competitive in today’s retail environment.
The study evaluated the desktop, mobile, and in-store experiences of 50 global brand retailers in the 2017 Global Mystery Shopping Study, recently released.
The study measured the branding, customer experience and services delivered through 206 metrics across eight common shopping scenarios, including site browsing, product search, customer service access and queries, and visiting physical stores when available.
Based on these metrics, the top 10 performing brands for customer experience across channels are (in alphabetical order):
Lauren Freedman, SVP of Digital Strategy at Astound Commerce, notes that “… the world’s top brands have a strong mix of digital capabilities both online and in store and… lead with brand, embrace strategic merchandising, and offer convenience and simplicity at every touchpoint: the investment among brands in more sophisticated features… a direct response to shoppers… increasingly looking to brands to deliver more engaging experiences
To further support the mystery shopping findings, the study drew from its recently released 2017 Global Brand Consumer Insights Study, which surveyed 1000 consumers who shop online and have visited brand manufacturer websites in the past 6 months. These consumer statistics dovetail with the findings and reinforce the mystery shopping observations.
Online browsing and product search are fundamental to the digital purchase process and form the foundation of every digital shopper journey. In fact, says the report, 65% of consumers reported onsite search and navigation is “very important” in the shopping process. The mystery shopping report found that brands are raising the bar in a variety of ways:
With one in three shoppers finding sizing, product finders and customer tools very important, global brands are making choices in the tactics they use to merchandise the shopping experience, says the report:
For brands today, says the report, offering a full set of customer service options, including prompt responses to questions and requests, is a necessity. 40% of online shoppers expect expert service from brands online. Mystery shopping customer service findings include:
While many in the retail industry have predicted the demise of physical stores, the study found that successful global brands are evolving their stores to ensure they still play a large role in the shopping experience. With 59% of consumers reporting the brand experience is better accomplished in the physical store, brands are investing in technology to facilitate deeper consumer engagement. Notable findings on the in-store shopping experience include:
For additional information about the study, please visit here.