EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3010 - February 27, 2013     1 of 5

eBay Is Catching up to Amazon in Customer Satisfaction

By David A. Utter

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Mick Jagger might have issues getting satisfaction, but online shoppers seem to have found it in their dealings with ecommerce. The American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ASCI), in its quarterly update, found some gains that they attributed to retail and ecommerce.

Their latest score comes from the fourth quarter of 2012, which also happens to be the period encompassing the most recent holiday shopping season. Customer satisfaction on the ACSI scale rose 0.5 percent to a mark of 76.3.

While much of that gain has been attributed to improvements in the public sector, other areas like ecommerce held influence. Customer satisfaction with ecommerce improved for a second consecutive year. The most recent gain of 1.2 percent pushed the score for satisfaction with online retail to an 82. While two minor yearly gains almost erase the decline in 2010, the industry falls short of its all-time high. Nevertheless, online retailers are still winners over traditional retailers (average of 76.6 overall), according to the report.

"By and large, Internet retail remains a more amiable way of shopping for a variety of merchandise," said Claes Fornell, ACSI founder and author of The Satisfied Customer: Winners and Losers in the Battle for Buyer Preference.

Among online sellers, Amazon enjoyed a rating of 85, best in the class. Even so, this figure represented a 1 percent slip for Amazon and is down from its high of 88 in 2007. Electronics e-tailer Newegg rated an 84, also a 1 percent drop for that company. eBay's efforts helped it improve 2 percent to a rating of 83, up from its low of 78 in 2008.

Netflix experienced a long period of self-inflicted injuries, thanks to various missteps with its price and marketing strategies starting in 2011. Raising rates and threatening to split its DVD and streaming services kept Netflix in the public eye, and not in a good away. ACSI noted Netflix only rated a 75 in customer satisfaction in its current assessment.

About the author:

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. Send your tips to and find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.

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