One in five consumers disappointed with their shopping experience

shutterstock_226918879A national retail fashion study by Market Force Information, a worldwide leader in customer intelligence solutions, reveal that customer satisfaction and experience was relatively low for all seven retailers who topped the survey.

The study found that 18% were dissatisfied with their recent visit to their favourite retailer – a significant number, especially before Christmas. Crucially, those who were very satisfied/delighted with their experience would be twice as likely to recommend the retailer/brand to their friend or colleague.

In December 2014, more than 3,400 consumers participated in a nationwide study designed to uncover the consumer’s favourite retailer, investigate factors that drive satisfaction and loyalty and reveal trends in multiple channels, including e-commerce sites, in store experiences, and mobile apps.

The Composite Loyalty Score of all seven retailers shows an extremely tight competition between the brands, with TK Maxx topping the charts at 48%, followed by New Look at 43%.

Consumers confirmed this tight competition among fashion retailers with wallet share at about 50% for all brands. TK Maxx had an average wallet share of 51% in comparison to Marks and Spencer’s with 55%. Next and New Look at 49% and 50% respectively. Primark had 53% and Debenhams had 49%.

The study identified four key drivers of satisfaction, including: practicality (sizing, choices, value for money etc.), environmentally conscious (CSR and green practices, types of materials used, information on country produced etc.), just for me (opportunities to share fashion tips and ideas/information, customisation, exclusivity etc.) and finally, store operations (speed of checkout and overall atmosphere). Only 10% of all consumers rated their favourite retailer as executing well on all four critical drivers.

Engaging with customers is vital to the brand loyalty and satisfaction. Having delighted customers means that they are two times more likely to recommend a retailer to friends. With 25% of customers having visited their favourite stores recently and 78% spending money, Next and Debenhams were twice as likely to help shoppers and create high conversion rates of sale.

Although TK Maxx does well in its physical stores, it fails with e-tailing, However, customers were more likely to purchase from H&M online than buy in-store. Next and Debenhams are almost equal in its percentage share of purchases (76% and 74% respectively) but Marks and Spencer’s, although has a good satisfaction rate with the website, fails to close in on checkout completion.

Taking retailers and brands mobile is also essential. Over half of the respondents surveyed had downloaded the Mobile App once they knew it was available. Use of the app was mainly to browse online but also to purchase items. Furthermore, having access to brands on a mobile phone enables browsers to store/locate items and make wish lists to purchase later or try in store.

In addition to apps, social media and bloggers influence purchase decisions. Consumers like to engage with its retailer and brand, with New Look and TK Maxx fairing highest on the board. However, on average, most retailers are not doing enough on social engagement.

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