Amazon Leads in Retail Satisfaction, eBay Is Average, Overstock Drops
By Ina Steiner
Customers gave Amazon the highest score of any retailer in 14 consecutive studies, according to analytics firm ForeSee Results' annual Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index. Amazon climbed two points to score 88 on the study's 100-point scale.
ForeSee Results CEO Larry Freed said, "Amazon is still the 800-pound gorilla of retail, and it just keeps getting better. It's tough for a smaller retailer to compete with this level of dedication to providing an excellent customer experience."
Online retailers have consistently increased their customer satisfaction since the company first started measuring holiday satisfaction in 2005, according to Freed. Since 2005, the average customer satisfaction score for the Index has increased from 74 to 79.
The annual index explains that a score of 80 has always been the standard for excellence. "Given the causal relationship between satisfaction and financial success, it is not surprising that most of the sites receiving the top 40 largest revenues according to Internet Retailer also have very high satisfaction scores. Any retailer scoring below average risks eroding loyalty, recommendations, sales, and market share to competitors who score higher, so even the Top 40 need to improve stay at the top of the heap. If satisfaction drops significantly, a revenue drop is likely to follow."
ForeSee Results used Internet Retailer's Top 500 guide to select the top 40 retailers. While eBay is not included in the guide because it is a marketplace rather than an individual retailer, ForeSee opted to include eBay because of the large volume of retail transactions they represent.
eBay remained steady at 80 this year, while Overstock.com was down 5% to 72, the largest decline in satisfaction.
ForeSee also said this holiday shopping season, price mattered less, writing that American consumers were less price sensitive during the 2011 holiday shopping season than they were last year.
About the ForeSee Results E-Retail Satisfaction Index (U.S. Holiday Edition)
"The seventh annual holiday online satisfaction report is based more than 8,500 responses from visitors to the top 40 e-retail websites according to sales revenue as reported by Internet Retailer's Top 500 Guide. Survey responses were collected via FGI Research's Smart Panel. ForeSee Results used the methodology of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) to calculate the scores. The ACSI is the national standard for customer satisfaction, and this measure has been shown to have a direct link with stock prices and other measures of financial performance."
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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