Consumers showed their comfort in mobile sales when the holiday season broke a series of Internet sales records this past winter but some retailers left buyers happier with their transactions than others.
Amazon and Apple came out on top of mobile eCommerce satisfaction in the latest ForSee survey released Thursday.
ForSee collected data on 40 U.S. retailers’ websites and and rated consumer experiences on a 100-point scale. These scores are based on more than 3,000 visitors to apps and mobile sites.
Apple grabbed the top spot in mobile satisfaction with a score of 85. Amazon was a close second with an 84 out of 100 score. Two big electronic companies trailed behind: eBay received a 77 and Best Buy pulled in an average score of 76.
The big box store's with web and mobile arms rounded out the bottom spots with Target, Walmart and Sears each squeaking by with scores of 72, 72, and 71, respectively.
According to ForSee, 34% of online shoppers used their cell phones to research products and 15% made a purchase directly from their device -- this purchase conversion rate on mobile is a noticeable 11% jump from 2010.
And those companies that didn't get the grade they were hoping for should put in some elbow-grease since mobile shoppers are 54% more likely do return shopping at the same company for a future similar purchase. And when the mobile experience is satisfactory, or even great, they are also twice as likely to buy from the retailer’s mobile app again.
The average mobile satisfaction score for the 16 mobile retailers measured in the report is 76, this is compared to a score of 79 for the same companies' websites.
Apple, however, stands out as a mobile leader, with a mobile satisfaction score two points higher than its web score.
"As the adoption of smartphones increases, more consumers are using them to access retailer websites," said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee, said in a statement. "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."
A new trend that is worth noticing is that 19% of all online shoppers are now using mobile phones to compare prices while shopping inside a store.
This is also becoming a controversial one since companies like Amazon are offing incentives for consumers to scan competitive prices and purchase with the online bargain site -- a big hit at local companies.
"The smartphone is a powerful shopping tool and a double-edged sword. Consumers will use it to research products and check a retailer's own site while they're in the store, but they'll also use it to compare prices and check out the competition," added Freed. "The gap between mobile experience and web experience is an opportunity for retailers as much as it is a liability. We know consumer expectations will only continue to grow, and right now Amazon and Apple are setting a very high bar."
With mobile quickly becoming the method that people want to use to buy items quick and easy, retailers will have to hustle to raise the level of satisfaction on their mobile experience to at least meet thier Web process or risk losing those customers to more mobile-friendly companies.