The detailed results from a survey of Britain’s 12 biggest mobile phone e-retailers are being released today by benchmarking specialist Syntagm (http://www.syntagm.co.uk). Scores show which sites provide the best experience for shoppers trying to buy a phone online – with some big surprises in the ratings.
• Expansys 62%
• O2 50%
• Argos 47%
• Carphone Warehouse 46%
• T-Mobile 44%
• Virgin Mobile 43%
• Mobiles.co.uk 43%
• Orange 41%
• Phones4u 41%
• Vodafone 41%
• Three 39%
• Tesco 36%
Syntagm compared the sites across 13 categories including content, design, navigation and online support. The results suggest that, in the rush to expand their online storefronts, the majority of mobile sites offer a substandard shopping experience and second-rate service.
However, the overall picture masks a number of excellent results in specific areas:
• Expansys achieved the highest or joint highest score in eight of the 13 benchmarking groups.
• O2 ranked in first place for content (83%) and online support (10%), and T-Mobile topped the table for trust (60%) and navigation (97%).
• Argos, Phones4u and Virgin Mobile were each marked top in one of the categories – checkout (85%), trust (60%) and accessibility (80%), respectively.
Results were not all favourable though. Tesco in particular performed poorly, receiving the lowest or joint lowest scores in five categories, and languishing in the bottom three in a further four groups.
And many of the mobile providers were found guilty of prioritising style over substance: half of the sites scored 80% or above for visual design, whereas three quarters scored 60% or below when it came to providing effective product information.
The shopping basket should be central to e-commerce, but the survey found it surprisingly difficult to access on some sites, and often poorly designed. The individual results for this category ranged dramatically from 28% for Tesco to a near-perfect 96% for Expansys.
William Hudson, Syntagm’s CEO, comments: “In the current climate retailers need to be making it as easy as possible for potential customers to find and purchase a product if they are going to survive tough consumer spending conditions and fight off competition from rivals.”
“Whilst there isn’t a direct correlation between usability and sales, we would expect a better shopping experience to result in higher customer conversion rates, and we encourage the companies to concerned to employ the results of our survey to that end.”
Notes for editors
Syntagm is a small consultancy based in Oxford. Established in 1985, it specialises in design for usability (user-centred design and user experience) and people development. It has worked more than 100 blue chip organisations across Europe and North America.
About the benchmarking report:
Benchmarking took place in late May and early June 2009, comparing the 12 mobile phone sites across 13 categories: content, visual design, navigation, engagement, accessibility, trust, persuasion, shopping basket, search, selection, checkout, account management, and online support.
Syntagm and its staff have no financial interests in any of the organisations benchmarked.