Survey Reveals Businesses Not Ready to Meet Consumer Demand for Mobile Shopping ServicesEmpirix and Customer Experience Foundation find large gap between customer expectations and businesses' ability to deliver services
September 20, 2011
Empirix Inc., a market leader of service quality assurance solutions for end-to-end comprehensive customer experience management of mobile broadband and IP-based communications systems, today announced results of a new survey, commissioned from the Customer Experience Foundation and designed to examine the state of shopping via mobile devices in the UK, U.S., France and Germany. The survey found that, even as consumers expect to be purchasing goods and services regularly via their mobile devices within the next 36 months, retail businesses themselves appear far from ready to provide these services.
The proliferation of mobile devices is driving consumers’ desire to shop via this new channel. Experts predict this will result in a dramatic increase in demand for m-commerce services and applications over the next few months, opening the door for companies in the B2B and B2C markets to capitalize on the opportunity. Highlights from the survey include:
—Ninety one percent of respondents believe that m-commerce services will make their shopping experience more convenient;
—Ninety percent of respondents believe the services will save them time in their shopping processes;
—Sixty eight percent of respondents thought new mobile services will have a positive impact on their service quality.
Despite strong consumer beliefs surrounding the potential of m-commerce, the survey also illustrates that organizations around the world are not yet ready to meet these increasing expectations. The UK in particular has been slower to react to the changing market conditions with lower investment in the building blocks required to deliver mobile shopping services when compared to companies in the U.S., France and Germany. In fact, only 14 percent of organisations in the UK are investing in QR Codes compared to 41 percent in the U.S. and 45 percent in Germany. Additionally, only 42 percent of organisations in the UK indicated that they have an overall mobile strategy in place compared with 54 percent of U.S. companies.
“As we see consumer demand and expectations increase for mobile capabilities, the pressure is really on businesses to start providing mobile shopping services sooner rather than later,” said Tim Moynihan, vice president of marketing, Empirix. “However, there are a number of potential issues organizations will need to overcome if they are to be successful, the primary challenge being network performance and quality assurance. As more businesses deliver m-commerce applications to an increasing number of consumers, the risk of poor service increases dramatically. Investing in an end-to-end service assurance program at the start of this journey will separate the winners from the losers.”
Though companies are admittedly lagging when it comes to providing a mobile strategy for consumers, these businesses are equally as far behind in implementing an end-to-end service assurance strategy. In fact, 92 percent of UK companies admitted having no plans to implement an end-to-end service assurance strategy in the next 12 months. There were similar figures in the U.S. and France (85 percent and 81 percent, respectively), and although German companies recognize service assurance as a crucial element, more than half (66 percent) have no plans to implement such a strategy in the next year.
The Customer Experience Foundation released a complete report of its findings in the paper entitled Shopping with your mobile - What’s going on? It contains detailed information on consumer preferences as well as data on the investments companies are making to deliver mobile services. The survey also uncovered regional differences that are affecting mobile shopping implementations. In the UK, for example, businesses are taking a tentative approach due to lingering technology concerns. In the U.S., companies are looking to extend their reach while French companies are searching for a ‘wow’ factor to further engage consumers. German companies are working to ensure the infrastructure is in place before implementing m-commerce on a large scale.
“The mobile shopping revolution has arrived, but the gap that exists between consumer expectations and business plans will significantly impact customer satisfaction,” said Professor Morris Pentel, chairman of the Customer Experience Foundation. “This new channel offers a tremendous opportunity to generate significant revenue while improving customer experience. To be successful, companies need to be aware of the potential risks. Organizations must assure a great customer experience, as well as high-quality network and application performance. Additionally, companies must be ready to respond appropriately to consumer’s concerns regarding data usage, privacy and security.”
The full survey results are available on the Empirix website at http://beconfident.empirix.com/mk/get/ENT-WS-WP-PR-TMAS2-0911 .
For the purposes of this survey, the Customer Experience Foundation created an online survey with two animated films and respondents answered questions about what they had seen. This approach was then customized for the four different geographic markets, including the UK, U.S., France and Germany. All data was compared and published within each market.
The survey was conducted by the Customer Experience Foundation on behalf of Empirix and can be broken down per country as follows:
—UK: 5,524 responses (3,908 consumers, 1,616 professionals)
—US: 1,869 responses (1,504 consumers, 365 professionals)
—Germany: 1,290 responses (1,089 consumers, 201 professionals)
—France: 1,549 responses (1,328 consumers, 221 professionals)
Comprehensive desk research is completed to ensure the factual accuracy and the intellectual soundness of all the Customer Experience Foundation’s whitepapers. All figures and trends quoted or described in this research are checked with at least two independent sources prior to publication. Where only one source can be found, it is listed separately with the data. Detailed source links will be provided to written enquiries but are not provided to competitive research organisations.
Empirix is a market leader of service quality assurance solutions for comprehensive customer experience management and end-to-end communication analysis of mobile broadband and IP-based communications systems. The company offers a complete suite of products and services designed to address the quality and interoperability challenges posed by the increased use of mobile broadband, LTE, converged voice and unified communications in both IT and Telecom Environments. The world’s largest communication service providers and enterprises depend on Empirix’s proactive and predictive correlation solutions to assure the quality of their business-critical communication networks, resulting in greatly improved customer loyalty. Empirix is privately held and headquartered in Bedford, MA. For further information, please visit www.empirix.com .
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