eMarketer on What Makes Consumers Shop for Groceries Digitally

31 October 2017 — The adoption of mobile banking apps is moving steadily ahead, according to new data from customer experience management firm Market Force. The company’s August 2017 poll of US internet users revealed that nearly 80% of respondents had downloaded their primary bank’s mobile app. But just because the app had been downloaded doesn’t mean it was used by most people with any regularity. The poll revealed that only about four in 10 respondents used their banking app on a daily basis, while 45% did so weekly. 

Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Bank Innovation logo

26 October 2017 — Digital wallet adoption is slowly on the rise, and payments provider PayPal seems to be the most popular choice for users. Users of the PayPal digital wallet far extend users of its closest competition, Apple Pay, according to a Market Force Banking Study released yesterday. The study, which polled about 6,500 banking customers in August 2017, found that 67% of customers are using PayPal, while 39% are using Apple Pay.

Date: Thursday, October 26, 2017
Banking Consumer Study 2016

Digital wallet adoption sees sharp increase, although Google Wallet and Apple Pay lose ground

Louisville, Colo., Oct. 25, 2017 — A new nationwide study by Market Force Information® (Market Force), a worldwide leader in customer experience management, found that over one-fifth of banking customers are not satisfied with their current bank, and more are considering switching bank brands, compared to a year ago. The study also ranked Capital One as consumers’ favorite retail bank.

More than 6,500 bank customers were polled for the study, which also provides insights into banking trends, bank technology adoption and credit card usage.

Capital One Ranks No. 1

Capital One ranked as customers’ favorite bank out of the traditional banks included in the study. It earned a 48% score on Market Force’s Composite Loyalty Index, which represents an average of how satisfied consumers were with their last banking experience and how likely they’d be to recommend the bank to others. Regions Bank and US Bank tied for a close second with 47%, while PNC bank – last year’s leader – ranked third with 46%. All of the bank brands lost ground compared to 2016, with Wells Fargo dropping a sizable 13 percentage points as it seeks to bounce back from last year’s fraud incident.

Graph 1: Favorite National Retail Banks

Market Force also asked participants to rank the top banks based on attributes that drive satisfaction. Regions Bank, which didn’t earn enough votes to qualify for last year’s rankings, took the top spot in most categories, such as reputation, ease of transactions and fair rates. US Bank ranked highest for trust. Bank of America and Wells Fargo trailed in every category.

Graph 2: Retail Banks Ranked by Attributes


With Satisfaction Down, Banks Risk Losing Market Share

Satisfaction levels have dropped considerably this year – 23% report being dissatisfied with their current bank relationship, compared to just 15% in 2016. This underlying dissatisfaction also means fewer people are likely to recommend their banks and more are considering switching banks. Fourteen percent of all banking customers are considering switching banks in the next six months (a 2% increase) and, of those, the highest percentage are considering switching from Wells Fargo to another brand. [See Graph 3].

Graph 3: Considering Switching Banks by Brand

“Loyalty to traditional banks is wavering in the face of rapidly evolving consumer preferences, the proliferation of digital bank alternatives and fintech companies that are more adept at providing a superior digital customer experience,” said Chuck Rogers, financial services practice leader for Market Force. “Building trust is as important as ever, but our research finds there are other areas where bank brands can make inroads with their existing and new customer bases, including demonstrating that they’re invested in their customers’ financial well-being and customizing services to fit their needs.”

Mobile Apps Hold Steady, Digital Wallets See Spike

Technology is a bright point for major bank brands, with usage on the rise. The majority (79%) of customers have downloaded their bank’s mobile app, and 84% report using it at least weekly. Checking balances, checking statement and payment history, and making deposits are the most popular app uses.

For those who aren’t using their bank’s app, security remains an impediment to adoption, cited as a reason by 31% of those who have not downloaded their bank’s mobile app. About one in five – skewing largely toward males – said they see no benefit in using a phone for banking. 

Graph 4:  Reasons Why Not Using Bank’s App

While app usage is slowly and steadily increasing, digital wallets and e-wallets have seen an upward spike across all generations. The study found 23% of consumers are using digital wallets, compared to just 14% who reported doing so in 2016. PayPal is the most popular by a wide margin, while Google Wallet saw a significant drop in usage, and Apple Pay also lost ground. [See Graph 5]. Most are using them to make payments and to send and receive money.

Graph 5: Digital Wallet Adoption Rates

Branches Still Relevant, Well Visited

Despite the uptick in technology use, customers continue to visit their banks’ physical locations. Twelve percent go to a branch at least weekly to complete a teller transaction. Additionally, more than one in five visit a personal banker at least monthly, but primarily for help resolving problems, rather than to seek information or advice. Regions Bank’s and Chase’s personal bankers are the highest rated, earning top scores in areas such as asking questions, providing clear and relevant information and offering solutions. Bank of America ranked lowest in all of these categories. 

Graph 6: Performance of Personal Bankers by Brand


Credit Card Use

Of the 82% who use a credit card, most reported using cards issued by Capital One, Chase and Discover. About three in four use their credit card’s website, mainly to see statements and make payments. Additionally, 46% use their credit card’s mobile app, and they are most satisfied with apps from PNC and American Express.

Survey Demographics

The survey was conducted online in August 2017 across the United States. The pool of 6,518 U.S. banking customers represented a cross-section of the four Census regions and reflected a broad spectrum of income levels, with 51% reporting household incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to over 65. Approximately 74% were female, 25% were male and 1% preferred not to answer.

About Market Force Information

Market Force Information is a customer experience (CX) management company that provides location-level measurement solutions that help businesses protect their brand reputation, delight customers and make more money. Solutions include customer experience surveys, employee engagement surveys, mystery shopping, on-site audits, contact center services and social media review tracking, which are all integrated into one technology and analytics platform, KnowledgeForce®. Founded in 2005, Market Force has a growing global presence, with offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Spain. It serves over 200 clients that operate multi-location businesses, including major retailers, restaurants, grocery and drug stores, petro/convenience operators, banking and financial services providers as well as the entertainment industry. The company was recognized in 2017 as one of the top 50 market research organizations in the AMA Gold Report and by Forrester as a Breakout Vendor. For more information, visit www.marketforce.com.



Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Retail Customer Experience

10 August 2017 — The top consumer choices when it comes to gassing up the vehicle at a wholesaler is Costco and Wawa when it comes to grocery stores, according to a Market Force Information study which polled 7,000 consumers. While most vehicle owners still hit local gas station and convenience stores, wholesale clubs and grocers boasting pumps are gaining ground, according to a release on the study. Wawa ranked highest with 68 percent when it comes to preferred gas stations and convenience stores, edging out QuikTrip, which took the top spot in the 2014 study. QuikTrip was second with a score of 62 percent and Sheetz was third with 59 percent, stated the release.

Date: Thursday, August 10, 2017
Fortune Magazine logo

19 July 2017 — The name "Costco" may evoke jumbo packs of cereal or paper towels, but a new survey proves the brand is valued for more than just discount pantry goods. According to Market Force Information, Costco beat out Ikea to become America's favorite store for home furnishings.

Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2017
2017 satisfaction survey on consumers favorite home improvement retailers

13 July 2017

For home improvement, Ace Hardware scored No. 1 with a composite loyalty score of 63%....Ace also ranked first for other categories such as ease of finding merchandise, staff service and knowledge and speedy checkouts. Merchandise variety and value was awarded to Menards and parking availability to Lowe’s. Home Depot ranked last in all service categories as well as cleanliness and value. 


Date: Thursday, July 13, 2017
Real Simple on favorite home furnishings

20 July 2017 — Step aside, Ikea. Costco is America’s favorite store for home furnishings, according to a new survey from Market Force Information. Costco, known for its discounted bulk items, scored a 72% composite loyalty score among those surveyed, and Ikea came in a close second with 70%. Target, T.J. Maxx and Kohl’s completed the top five stores for home furnishings.

Date: Thursday, July 20, 2017
home improvement retailer research

Ace Hardware and Costco Take Top Honors

Louisville, Colo., July 18, 2017 — A new nationwide study by Market Force Information, a worldwide leader in customer experience management, reveals that Ace Hardware is consumers’ favorite home improvement store and Costco is their favorite for home furnishings.

For the rankings, Market Force Information (Market Force) polled more than 7,800 consumers for the home improvement component of the study and nearly 3,500 for the home furnishings component. The participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with their last experience at a home improvement or furnishings store and their likelihood to recommend it to others. That data was averaged to rate each brand on an aggregation of the two measures — a Composite Loyalty Index. Market Force also looked at the attributes that drive these preferences, analyzing factors such as merchandise and brand selection, cleanliness  and value.

Home Improvement Retailer Rankings

Ace Hardware, known for its neighborly service and an intense focus on the customer experience, earned the top spot with a composite loyalty score of 63%. Menards ranked second with 60%, Lowe’s was third with 55% and Home Depot was last among the brands studied with 51%.

Graph 1: Favorite Home Improvement Retailers

Spending and Projects on Rise

Rising home equity is driving an increase in home improvement spending, which was up more than 30% in April over last year – the strongest advance since January 2000, according to analysis of Census Bureau data by Bloomberg. The do-it-yourself phenomenon may be partly responsible for the rise in home improvement spending. Market Force’s research found 60% of consumers consider themselves “DIY enthusiasts,” who not only purchase the materials and products themselves, but also complete their own home improvementprojects. Another 22% fall in the “do-it-for-me” group that purchases the materials and products, but outsources the labor.

 Home improvement could be a bright light in the retail sector with remodeling projects on the rise and consumers more confident about investing in their homes,” said Ray Walsh, CEO of Market Force Information. “Our research shows that retailers must continue to focus on the customer experience to differentiate their offer and capture a greater share of this growing market, excelling in areas such as value, store cleanliness, and merchandise variety  and availability.”

Easiest to Find Items at Ace, But Menards Leads in Selection

Market Force also looked at how the top brands fare in operational and product attributes that matter most to consumers. Ace Hardware ranked first in most categories, with particularly strong marks for ease of finding merchandise, staff service and knowledge, and speedy checkouts. Menards scored highest for merchandise variety and value, while Lowe’s earned the top spot for parking availability. Home Depot ranked last of the brands in all service categories, as well as cleanliness and value.

Graph 2: Home Improvement Retailers Ranked by Attributes


Taking Stock of Apps, Loyalty Programs and Store Credit Cards

Market Force’s study found there is ample room for retailers to promote adoption of their mobile apps, as they prove helpful among those who use them. Of the 18% who indicated they’ve used one, 93% of them said the app was helpful. Home Depot’s app is most popular, with 45% using it, followed by Lowe’s, Walmart, IKEA and Menards. 

One-fifth reported that they participate in the loyalty program offered by the retailer they most recently visited. Ace Hardware’s program is overwhelmingly the most popular with 67% participation, Lowe’s ranked a distant second with 21%, Menards was third with 11% and Home Depot trailed with 8%.

Nineteen percent indicated they have a home improvement store-branded credit card, with most choosing Lowe’s (25%) and Home Depot (21%). Just 7% have a Menards card and 3% have an Ace card.

Graph 3: Mobile App, Loyalty Program and Store Credit Card Usage - Home Improvement Retailers

Home Furnishings Retailer Rankings

Market Force also explored consumer trends and preferences in the home furnishings sector. This section of the study revealed that Costco ranks first among home furnishing retailers, with a composite loyalty score of 72%. IKEA was a close second with 70%, and Target, T.J. Maxx and Kohl’s rounded out the top five.

Graph 4:  Favorite Home Furnishings Retailers

IKEA Is Value Leader, Target Tops for Service

When it comes to home furnishings, IKEA offers the most selection and at the best value. In fact, IKEA outperformed second-place Bed Bath & Beyond by 11 percentage points in the merchandise variety category. However, Target scored the highest marks for customer service and speedy checkouts, and Costco ranked No. 1 for store associate availability.

Graph 5: Home Furnishings Retailers Ranked by Attributes


Apps, Loyalty Programs and Credit Cards for Home Furnishings

Mobile app usage for home furnishings retailers is similar to that in the home improvement sector, with 16% indicating they have used one, and 95% saying it was helpful. IKEA has the highest adoption at 22%, followed by Target and Walmart.

Twenty-four percent indicated they participate in the loyalty program offered by the home furnishings retailer they most recently visited. Kohl’s had the highest participation at 61%, followed by Big Lots, IKEA and Costco.

Seventeen percent of those studied said they have a home furnishings store-branded credit card. Of those, most use Kohl’s (55%), Target (43%) and Costco (29%). Very few have one for IKEA or Bed Bath & Beyond.

Graph 6:  Mobile App, Loyalty Program and Store Credit Card Usage - Home Furnishings Retailers


Survey Demographics

The survey was conducted online in May 2017 across the United States. The pool of 7,815 consumers (for the home improvement portion of the study) and 3,467 consumers (for the home furnishings portion) represented a cross-section of the four U.S. Census regions and reflected a broad spectrum of income levels, with 51% reporting household incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to over 65. Approximately 74% were female, 25% were male and 1% preferred not to answer.

About Market Force Information

Market Force Information® provides location-level measurement solutions that help businesses protect their brand reputation, delight customers and make more money. Solutions include customer experience surveys, mystery shopping, on-site  audits, contact center customer recovery services and social media monitoring with all measurement data integrated into one technology and analytics platform. Founded in 2005, Market Force has a growing global presence, with offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Spain. It serves over 350 clients that operate multi-location businesses, including major retailers, restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, financial institutions and entertainment. More information can be found at www.marketforce.com.

Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2017
AMA Gold Report of Top Research Companies

30 June 2017 — Market Force was named in the American Marketing Association's Gold Report 2017 of top 50 market research firms. Market Force specializes in providing location-level customer experience management services, including mystery shopping, customer experience surveys, and employee engagement surveys.

Date: Friday, June 30, 2017

Threats and Opportunities for Wireless Carriers

 A new research study by Deloitte (2017 Global Mobile Consumer Study) contends that the wireless industry will continue growing in 2017, fueled by the Internet of Things (IoT). Their research points out three major trends driving the growth:

  • "US consumers are looking at their devices more than 9 billion times a day in the aggregate–up 13 percent from last year.
  • Smartphone sales are still strong, with penetration up 10 percent year over year, and the highest growth percentages coming in the 45-54 and 55+ age demographics–groups that have previously lagged behind younger consumers.
  • While they are still relatively niche products, wearables such as smart watches and fitness bands have seen tremendous percentage growth. Smartwatch penetration doubled from 2014 to 2015 and tripled in 2016; smartwatches have now penetrated roughly 12 percent of the mobile consumer market in the US.”

Source: Telecommunications Industry Outlook 2017, Deloitte

To capture that market share, Deloitte notes that investments in infrastructure and connectivity will continue to be key, but argues that a critical focus on operations, including customer care, billing, and sales models will be key to growth.

Market Force Information’s recent consumer research validates this conclusion. In our research we found that 13% of consumers plan to switch wireless carriers in the next 12 months. The reasons? Along with those related to value and network coverage, two stand out:

  • Customer care: 16% want more courteous and helpful in-store staff; 14% want more courteous and helpful call center staff
  • Billing: 13% want to have bills that are easier to understand

Reasons for considering switching wireless carriers 

Market Force research also found that one in four consumers were dissatisfied with their current wireless carrier and one in three would not recommend. This overall sense of dissatisfaction creates opportunities—as well as threats—to carriers. Metrics that measure the customer experience (CX), across channels, product lines, and customer journey touchpoints will be critical to preventing churn and capturing the life time value of individual customers as they buy more connected devices.

To learn more about our wireless industry research, or how to assess the consumer experience in a highly engaged sales process, please schedule a briefing. We’d be glad to walk you through the results!

Schedule a Briefing


Schedule a Briefing

To discuss your needs for improving performance for your multi-location brand, give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss best practices for measuring the customer experience and compliance to brand standards, using analytics to understand what matters most and the ROI for change, and technology solutions that integrate large quantities of data on one single platform. We look forward to a great discussion!

Schedule a Briefing
We've noticed you might not be visiting the appropriate version of our site. Would you like to: