John Lewis tops consumer experience poll
Written by Peter Walker
John Lewis remained top of Forrester’s UK Customer Experience Index rankings for multichannel retailers for a fourth consecutive year, despite seeing profits tumble in the last financial year.
Based on a survey of 9,033 UK adult customers, the index measures how successfully a company delivers customer experiences (CX) that create and sustain loyalty. It achieves this by benchmarking CX quality at 36 UK brands, including 14 multichannel retailers and four digital retailers.
Another struggling department store, Debenhams, jumped up seven places in the multichannel rankings after revamping its digital CX strategy. Online sales grew 12 per cent year-on-year and it also invested £143 million into mobile and store experiences
New entrant Very.co.uk narrowly edged Amazon to take top spot in the UK digital retailer rankings. Part of Shop Direct Group, the e-commerce outfit uses its in-house user experience lab to continually assess and improve CX.
Argos and Debenhams were the only two multichannel retailers which saw their scores significantly increase in 2018, while digital retailer average score remained flat, with only Amazon seeing a statistically significant decline.
Michelle Beeson, analyst at Forrester, explained in the report that although Amazon’s performance on ease and effectiveness led the industry, the percentage of its customers having emotionally positive experiences was below the industry average and well below CX Index leader Very.
“Conventional wisdom states that customers prefer digital experiences,” she stated. “Erroneously thinking that digital experiences matter most to consumers, companies mistakenly race to create entirely digital experiences to entice customers away from physical touchpoints like contact centres and bricks and mortar locations.”
Forrester examined how various touchpoints performed in the three E’s of customer experience for multichannel retailers – effectiveness, emotion and ease.
It forecasted that digital touchpoints will have an impact on 67 per cent of all UK retail sales by 2022, with 66 per cent of UK online adults agreeing that shopping online is more convenient than shopping offline, while 44 per cent said they regularly research products online before purchasing them offline.
Among UK online adults, 59 per cent use social networking sites to get help using products and services, and 42 per cent agree that social networks and online social tools are a good way to communicate and show a brand how they really feel about them.
The report also found that only a retailer’s most loyal customers are most likely to download and use its mobile app. In 2018, Very saw 74 per cent of its online sales completed on mobile devices, with 25 per cent of all orders coming through the smartphone app specifically.
However, 53 per cent of UK online shoppers still prefer to use a computer for online shopping.