Amazon led all major online retailers this holiday season in customer satisfaction, earning a score of 88 on a 100-point scale, the highest ever attained by a retailer studied since 2005, according to [download page] the ForeSee E-Retail Satisfaction Index. A host of online retailers followed with a score of 83, including QBC, Apple, and JC Penney, which rose 5 points from 2010.
Overall, 15 sites scored at or above 80, generally considered by ForeSee to be the threshold for excellence. Average customer satisfaction with the top 40 online retail websites increased by a point to tie 2009’s peak of 79.
Netflix, which had topped or tied for first place every year since 2005, experience the biggest decline in holiday customer satisfaction this year, tumbling 7 points to 79. Netflix’s scores were down on each of the website elements studied: its content score dropped 7%; its functionality score was down 3%; its merchandise score fell 6%; and its price score plummeted 12%.
Gap, which fell 5 points to a score of 73, and Overstock.com, which dropped 4 points to 72, also saw significant declines, occupying the bottom two spots in the top 40 retailers list.
Satisfaction Impacts Purchases, Loyalty
Data from the study indicates that compared to shoppers who are dissatisfied with an online experience (have website satisfaction scores of 69 or lower), shoppers who are highly satisfied with a retail website (with satisfaction scores of 80 or higher) say they are 68% more likely to purchase from that retailer online and 48% more likely to purchase offline.
Highly satisfied shoppers also display a keen sense of loyalty: they are 64% more likely to buy from that retailer the next time they buy similar merchandise (90% vs. 55%), 65% more committed to the brand (89% vs. 54%), and 52% more likely to return to the website than those who are dissatisfied (93% vs. 61%).
9 in 10 Satisfied Customers Will Recommend
92% of highly satisfied customers say they would recommend the website to a friend, family member, or colleague, making them 67% more likely to do so than dissatisfied customers (55%). The same proportion of satisfied customers report a positive impression of the brand overall, compared to just 58% of dissatisfied customers.
- TigerDirect.com was the most improved online retailer this year of those studied, rising 6 points to a score of 79.
- JC Penney has improved the most since first measured in 2005, up 12 points from 71 in 2005. Costco follows, up 10 points from 69 that year.
- With Netflix’s drop and Amazon’s increase, the gap between the two jumped to 9 points this year, the largest between the two online retailers since the Index began in 2005.
- Apple’s site (83) topped the computers & electronics list, while L.L.Bean and Victoria’s Secret (both at 81) led the apparel & accessories category.
About the Data: The ForeSee E-Retail Satisfaction Indices are based upon the methodology of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The holiday study utilized FGI Research’s SmartPanelTM, a nationwide panel of approximately 1.6 million consumer households who have agreed to participate in opt-in surveys. More than 8,500 survey responses were collected from November 30, 2011 through December 12, 2011 from shoppers who had visited the top 40 retail websites within the previous 14 days.