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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2744 - February 21, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    3 of 3

Amazon Rated Highest in Customer Satisfaction in 2011

By Ina Steiner
February 21, 2012

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Customer satisfaction with online retail was higher in 2011 than for traditional offline retail, according to a new report from ACSI, and Amazon.com was rated highest of all retailers in the study. The company found that online retail customer satisfaction rebounded 1.3% to 81 last year, making the category the clear winner compared with traditional retailers, who received an average rating of 76.1 overall.

While online retail's score is lower than it was two years ago, it was high enough to surpass the individual scores of most traditional retailers.

The best of the best among all retailers - traditional or online - was Amazon. According to the study, Amazon slipped 1% in 2011, but it still packed the biggest customer satisfaction punch at 86, followed by Newegg at 85 (up 1%).

Next in line were two websites with stable satisfaction scores: Overstock at 83 and eBay at 81. The group of all other retail websites improved 3% to 80, which placed the entire industry in the 80s with the exception of one website - Netflix, which fell 14% to 74, one of the biggest year-on-year losses in ACSI history.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the United States. Data from interviews with approximately 70,000 customers annually are used as inputs into an econometric model to measure satisfaction with more than 225 companies in 47 industries and 10 economic sectors, along with over 200 services, programs, and websites of approximately 130 federal government agencies.

Other ACSI findings include:

  • Traditional retailers specializing in particular merchandise, such as home improvement, office supplies, or books and music, continued a gradual four-year climb with a gain of 1.3% to 79 - the top industry score in the retail sector.

  • Barnes & Noble, the sole traditional bookstore chain left standing after Borders' demise, took an unwelcome hit in customer satisfaction - down 4% to 79 and surrendering the industry lead.

  • The department & discount store industry overall was flat at an unchanged 76, after three prior years of slow, but steady, progress. Pricing pressure remains a challenge for the industry, but upscale Nordstrom shows that quality still counts with a leading score of 84 (+2%) that outclassed the competition by 2 points or more. J.C. Penney improves 2% to 82, capturing second place and moving just ahead of Kohl's (unchanged at 81) for the first time since 2002.
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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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