That phone consumers are using to surf the Internet, check their email and check-in on social media? They’re also using it to shop for their new phone.
According to the latest wireless purchase experience study from J.D. Power, smartphones have emerged as the channel driving the most customer satisfaction when it comes to new device purchases. On average, satisfaction rates among those making purchases via smartphone were 34 points higher (on a 1,000-point scale) than those shopping online via a computer or tablet and 15 points higher than those going in-store.
“The store experience is still important, and you still have more in-store [purchases] than smartphone or online, but online satisfaction is much higher,” Peter Cunningham, technology media and telecommunications practice lead at J.D. Power, tells Marketing Daily. “It’s kind of turning into a closed ecosystem, in which all aspects of the ownership experience, from buying the device to engaging with customer support, is done entirely on a mobile device.”
The shift in channels is driven by both consumer preference and company accommodation, Cunningham says. For instance, consumers who purchased a new device via smartphone spent an average of 10.6 minutes completing their purchase, compared with 13.7 minutes among those using a computer or tablet. At the same time, consumers — particularly Millennials — are preferring to work with companies through online channels, including mobile and social, Cunningham says.
“A lot of it is bringing to customers what they want interns of interaction with a company,” he says. “It’s the way more and more companies want to interact as well.”
The store experience, however, is still important, particularly when it comes to managing account-related device issues, such as data usage, explanation of the latest technology and demonstration of device operations, Cunningham says. The retail channel, he says, still provides a more personalized experience.
“For the understanding of payments or billing and data limitation, you’re getting into the nuances of the account,” he says.