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Apple, Amazon tops among those holiday-shopping via handhelds

Apple and Amazon came in first and second for customer satisfaction among mobile shoppers, says ForeSee Results.

Apple and Amazon took home the best grades in customer satisfaction among people who did their holiday shopping via a mobile device.

ForeSee Results' "E-Retail Satisfaction Index" looked at the top 16 retail sites out of a possible 40 to gauge which offered the best mobile experience for holiday buyers. Apple's score of 85 out of 100 and Amazon's score of 84 handily surpassed third-place Dell with only 78.

Foresee Usability Team Lead Matthew Dull said both companies place huge value on the customer experience and carry that into their mobile environments.

ForeSee Results

While Amazon has both a mobile app and a mobile site, Apple offers only a mobile app. Though its shopping site is of course accessible on mobile devices, it's not optimized for mobile users.

Still, both companies have been able to keep their mobile stores lean without removing too much content, helping customers find the items they need, noted Dull. Both allow shoppers to do the same things they can do on the full Web sites--search for products, read reviews, find related products, buy items, and add to a wishlist.

And although buyers will find a lot of product details, the two mobile stores aren't overwhelming and are well designed for smaller screens.

"In short, these organizations have earned their high customer satisfaction ratings by neatly balancing information and functionality in a small space, without venturing to the two extremes where many mobile sites or apps get trapped: total information overload or a version that is so streamlined and pared down that it's useless," Dull said in the report. "Add this balancing act to truly innovative functionality (such as the ability to search for products by taking a picture or scanning a code), and these organizations are clearly head and shoulders above the rest."

Both Apple and Amazon consistently score well in customer satisfaction. Both also continually tweak their mobile experiences.

Apple recently revamped its Apple Store app to let customers buy items online and then pick them up at the nearest retail shop. And Amazon just unveiled a dedicated Kindle Store site for iPad users.

Beyond Apple, Amazon, and Dell, other mobile retail stores that popped up on the list included Netflix, eBay, Best Buy, and Staples.

To compile its results, Foresee surveyed more than 23,000 people between November 29 and December 15 of last year.