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Amazon named 'best retailer' in eChannel Retail Benchmark report

Online retail giant Amazon has been named as the best retailer in a new report that assesses the end-to end customer experience across key digital channels including websites, mobile sites and apps.

The latest eChannel Retail Benchmark report from eDigitalResearch shows that Amazon topped the benchmark study due to its core multi-channel functionality, especially across the search and purchase sections of the customer journey. 

The study found that consumers particularly liked the accurate and fast predictive text on keyword search, extensive integrated customer reviews on the retailer’s product pages and the one-click purchase functionality which is available on all three of Amazon’s digital channels. 

Department store Debenhams came in second place following its recent site re-design. Consumers liked the cleaner, fresher homepage and the fact that it still maintains clear Debenhams branding.

However, Marks & Spencer‘s saw its position slip after a site re-launch earlier this year.

eDigitalResearch said the  retailer scored poorly in both the first impressions and checkout stages of the customer journey - two key areas where changes were made as part of the site's development.

Derek Eccleston, commercial director at eDigitalResearch, said: "Amazon have long led the field with their multichannel customer experience, introducing ideas such as predictive search text and one-click purchases. While they still don’t lead the way when it comes to design or first impressions, Amazon clearly understand their customers – they know that people are often wanting to make purchase quickly and their digital channels more than deliver on this front.

"Instead, when it comes to department stores, customers are looking for an engaging brand experience where they feel inspired. This is clearly the motivation behind Marks & Spencer’s recent website refresh, with an emphasis on content and features. However, earlier in the year, we found that high street retailers need to combine a great experience with excellent functionality across channels, something that Marks & Spencer lacks and is probably a key driver behind their recent drop in online sales."

As in previous benchmarks, the results also found that having a consistent customer experience across channels keeps customers returning - those that shop regularly with brands were found to notice if a feature was missing when shopping via their mobile. However, the challenge remains in optimising all features effectively without overcrowding or cluttering mobile sites or apps. 

Click here for the full report.

Source : The Retail Builletin

26 September 2014

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