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ForeSee: Apple, Amazon dominate mobile satisfaction

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Ann Arbor, Mich. — A mobile commerce study released Thursday by customer experience analytics firm ForeSee found that Apple and Amazon rank far above all other retailers when it comes to mobile customer satisfaction.

When measuring how satisfied customers are with mobile shopping experiences of 16 of the largest e-retailers in the United States, Apple and Amazon, which scored 85 and 84, respectively, on the study’s 100-point scale, topped the list by a wide margin.

Bestbuy.com and Staples.com tied for sixth with mobile experience scores of 76. Walmart.com and Sears.com were in the rear, with scores of 72 and 71, respectively.

According to the research, shoppers are generally more satisfied with traditional websites than they are with their mobile counterparts. The average mobile satisfaction score for the 16 retailers measured in the report is 76, compared to 79 for the same companies’ websites.

However, a few companies had comparable performance on mobile and web: Apple (a standout with a mobile score two points higher than its web score), Toys “R” Us, Best Buy, Staples, Netflix, Dell and Blockbuster. Others reveal large gaps between the website and the mobile experience, including Avon (satisfaction 8 points lower on mobile) and Walmart (7 points lower).

“As the adoption of smartphones increases, more consumers are using them to access retailer websites,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee. “More and more, there is expectation that companies will address the mobile environment in ways that are effective and user-friendly. Mobile commerce is still relatively new and there is a lot of room for innovation and improvement.”

In addition, the ForeSee study showed that satisfaction with the mobile experience has a significant cross-channel impact. Mobile shoppers who are highly satisfied with their mobile experience are 54% more likely to consider the company next time they want to make a similar purchase, and twice as likely to buy from the retailer’s mobile channel again.

Other findings from the research showed the growing role that mobile is playing in the retail experience:

  • A third of online shoppers (34%) used their mobile phones to research products while 15% made a purchase directly from their phone, up from 11% last year.
  • One in five online shoppers (19%) used a mobile phone to compare prices or products while shopping in a retail location.
  • Nineteen percent of all online shoppers are now using mobile phones to compare prices while shopping inside a store.

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Sears apparel and home chief resigns

BY Staff Writer

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears Holdings Corp. confirmed Thursday that John Goodman, its chief of apparel and home division, has resigned the company, effective immediately.

Goodman was hired two years ago as executive VP of apparel and home, charged with turning around the retailer’s clothing business. His departure, which Sears says happened last week, coincides with the Jan. 3 arrival of Ron Boire, the former Brookstone president and CEO, as executive VP and chief merchandising officer for Sears and Kmart brands.

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Retail container traffic to be flat in January, increasing in spring

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — A report released Thursday by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates said import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports should be nearly flat during January compared with the same month last year, but significant year-over-year increases are expected this spring.

“We’re headed into the slow season for cargo shipments, but forecasts indicate that retailers will be stocking up this spring in anticipation of a moderate recovery as the year progresses,” NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold said. “Cargo volume doesn’t translate directly into sales volume, but when retailers import more it’s because they expect to sell more.”

U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.25 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units in November, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was down 2.1% from October since most holiday merchandise was already on the shelves but up 1.2% from November 2010. One TEU is one 20-foot cargo container or its equivalent.

December was estimated at 1.21 million TEU, up 5.9% from a year ago. January 2012 is forecast at 1.21 million TEU, up one-tenth of 1% from January 2011. February, historically the slowest month of the year, is forecast at 1.06 million TEU, down 3.3% from a year ago. March is forecast at 1.2 million TEU, up 10.5% from last year; April at 1.26 million TEU, up 3.8%; and May at 1.3 million TEU, up 0.9%.

The total for 2011 was estimated 14.86 million TEU, up 0.7% from 2010’s 14.75 million TEU

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