Retailers plan to spend more on customer experience research this year in an effort to shift more customers to self-service channels such as the web and kiosks, according to a new report from Forrester Research.
Most retailers surveyed for the study “Customer Experience Spending Booms in 2006,” said that improving usability, a main component of customer experience, is the best way to achieve the shift, Forrester said. And they plan on spending more on design and evaluation tools to achieve that goal, according to the survey.
Nearly half of the retailers responding to the survey said they plan to increase spending on web analytics this year while less than 5% said they plan on reducing spending. In addition, more than 87% of merchants said they plan to expand the number of in-house users of their web analytics tools in 2006.
Almost half of the respondents planned to increase their outlay on customer behavioral research in 2006, while less than 10% said they expect to decrease spending, Forrester said. More than one-third of the retailers said plan to spend more to understand customer satisfaction rates, and less than 10% expect to spend less.
Nearly one-third of the retailers surveyed said they plan to spend more on both focus groups and usability labs, while 10% said they will reduce spending in those areas.
Forrester surveyed 105 retail members of its Customer Experience Peer Research Panel with annual revenues of $200 million or more.