Corporate and Mobile Websites Still Falling Short of Consumer Expectations

CoreMedia, a leading Web content management (WCM) company, today announced the results of an international consumer survey on online user experience satisfaction. The independent study, which surveyed over 1,100 German and U.S. Internet users, provides insight into consumer satisfaction with their digital experience across several key areas, including website personalization and mobile website usage.

The survey gauges whether companies are delivering customized, engaging online experiences that take into account user context such as gender, location, time of day/year, weather, social media “likes” and updates. A recent Gartner report stated that “Context-aware computing — the concept of leveraging information about the end user to improve the quality of the interaction — can improve business results.” The survey found, however, that companies are failing to meet expectations for the majority of consumers, with more than half of the survey participants (56 percent) indicating that they do not feel as though website content is tailored to their personal needs or preferences.

Gartner offers an explanation behind this disconnect, reporting “Despite some of the benefits, there is a perception in the market that the level of understanding required to deliver an appropriate user experience across multiple channels of interaction remains elusively difficult or prohibitively expensive to achieve.” Although Web content management vendors have created compelling technologies that allow companies and organizations to build their online Web presence, these platforms often require specialized IT staff to address the targeting of content to specific audiences or devices. Seldom is this in fact done, often due to the competing goals of IT and the business; however this role is best left to the marketer or business user, who best understands both the business and engagement drivers behind the user experience, and their audience’s context and needs.

When asked to identify their preferences for their online experiences, the majority of respondents (69 percent) chose the ability to quickly find what they are searching for as the top priority. Almost a quarter of the respondents selected websites that could easily adapt to their current needs, and 14 percent of survey respondents identified being able to comment, recommendation or retweet as taking precedence. The message is clear – consumers want engaging, interactive experiences, but above all, the interaction must quickly meet their desired outcome.

The survey also explored mobile Web sentiment. With smartphone adoption accelerating in both the U.S. and Europe (27 percent and 31 percent of mobile subscribers, respectively, in 2010 ), analysts are recommending companies focus on creating a seamless experience in terms of how they engage with their customers across all channels. Despite the increasing trends in mobile usage and the understanding of the different intentions associated with mobile devices, it appears companies still have a bit more work to do on delivering an engaging user experience across all channels. Over a third (36 percent) felt most sites are often difficult to read on a mobile device, and 40 percent said they do not regularly access mobile sites because it is too complicated. Another interesting finding relates to expectations regarding mobile when compared to traditional desktop browsing; 24 percent felt that most mobile sites are missing the functionality that one finds on websites when accessed via a PC. This supports the theory that rather than the more immersive Web experience one expects when using a desktop, people use mobile devices for specific goals- quick searches, social media updates or transactions, etc.

“Even though it is well known that providing a more engaging, adaptive experience through all consumer interaction channels is becoming a business necessity, there is much room for improvement,” said Glenn Conradt, vice president, Global Marketing and North America, CoreMedia. “It’s important to tailor content to the context of both your audience and the devices through which they access this information. The user experience can be dramatically improved if it can adjust location, time and means of access on-demand. However business users need to be the ones in control of designing and
delivering these contextual experiences.”

Inc., Context-aware Computing Will Increase the Impact of Your Online Strategy by Mick MacComascaigh, Bill Gassman, William Clark, Gene Alvarez, 15 September, 2010
2Gartner, Inc., Context-aware Computing Will Increase the Impact of Your Online Strategy by Mick MacComascaigh, Bill Gassman, William Clark, Gene Alvarez, 15 September, 2010
3 The comScore 2010 Mobile Year in Review

About CoreMedia
CoreMedia is a leading provider of Web Content Management (WCM) software to organizations demanding engaging, context-driven online experiences for their customers regardless of channel or touchpoint. The company’s WCM suite offers unique business value by seamlessly integrating digital and social media assets, increasing editorial productivity and accelerating time to market in complex environments. As a result, businesses can more effectively execute their online strategies to engage users, build customer loyalty and ultimately drive greater revenue and profitability.

Established in 1996, CoreMedia is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, with offices in San Francisco, London, and Singapore. CoreMedia’s clients include global brands, such as the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Bertelsmann, BILD, CLAAS, Continental, EPCOS, Deutsche Telekom, Internet Broadcasting, O2, SEAT, and Singapore Press Holdings.

For further information on CoreMedia, please visit