Customer Experience Featured Article

Travel Shoppers Increasingly Concerned About Overall Device Experience

October 29, 2014

It's one thing—indeed, a very important one thing—to have a handle on the mobile experience, but that by itself is proving to be not enough for shoppers these days. Though the summer travel season is all but finished in the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere's is about to start, and a new study has emerged to suggest that it's not so much the mobile experience, but instead a consistent experience across all devices, that's really important.

The report from SDL, a firm that focuses on experience management, says that the current count of those expecting seamless moves between channels—as well as between devices—is now up to 90 percent, which represents a 17 percent increase just from last year. That's making brands think twice about available service options, particularly as a variety of new platforms and tools come into play, including things like apps, mobile sites and social media as well.

But even as the number of tools increases, so too do the demands from shoppers. Travel shoppers are well-known, by some reports, for jumping between stores both online and offline, and that's getting some of these shoppers particularly piqued that the experience isn't as good in both directions. Nearly half the time—47 percent, at last report—customers find that the experience a brand presents in its store isn't up to snuff with the store's online experience. There were several other issues of concern for shoppers as well, with 60 percent ranking out-of-stock products as a top-three frustration with e-commerce in general. 52 percent had issues with lack of accessible information, and 47 percent cited a clear difference between online and offline experience.

This may sound like customers on a power trip, but there's a clear opportunity for the business that goes along with it; 66 percent of customers were actually ready to, at last report, pay premium prices for a “quality customer experience,” and that's hard for most any business to readily pass up. Even with the issues as presented, 32 percent still chose the business' website as the main point of access for product research, behind search engines at 46 percent and physical stores at 63 percent.

The mandate, therefore, is quite clear: customers want the prime experience and will be willing to pay a premium price to get it. That's not out of line at all, really, and should make businesses think twice about just what's being offered against what customers are looking for. Granted, not every part of the mobile experience can be replicated on a desktop or an offline experience, but every one that can generally should be. The customers are looking for that sort of experience and are even willing to pay extra for it, so those that don't provide it are likely to be swamped by those who do. It's also worth noting that finding further ways to augment the customer experience will be necessary; today's cutting edge is tomorrow's standard, so being able to future-proof the lineup with continuous development is likely to be very important in the months and years to come.

Customers want more these days, and given the overall state of the economy, said customers can get that more. After all, no one wants to lose business, and those who can't provide the experience desired are more likely to lose business than those who can provide. It's a point to pay attention to, and one that may well kill a business or two before it's all said and done.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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