Holiday Online Retail: Shopper Satisfaction Down in 2007

December 28, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Retail & E-Commerce

Customer satisfaction with online retail during the 2007 holiday season is down slightly from last year, according to the Holiday 2007 edition of the ForeSee Results Top 40 Online Retail Satisfaction Index.

Aggregate satisfaction with the leading online retailers scored 74 on a 100-point scale, losing 1.3 percent from a year ago, as online holiday sales rose at their slowest pace ever.

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“Online shopping is still the bright spot for holiday retailers, but lower satisfaction coupled with slower-than-expected spending growth puts a little cloud over the season,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results.

“In an economy where consumers are feeling the pinched economically, there’s increased competition for the customers’ dollar. So, it’s even more important for e-retailers to meet their customers’ needs online.”

Also according to the third annual holiday edition of the Top 40 Online Retail Satisfaction Index:

  • Last year’s top-rated websites continued to dominate the Index: Netflix (86), Amazon (82), L.L. Bean (80) and QVC (80) lead the Top 40.
  • The most improved websites from last year include Costco (up 4.3% to 72), Zappos (up 4% to 78), and Avon (up 3.9% to 79).
  • Overall, 10 sites have increased customer satisfaction from last year, while 18 websites saw their scores slip.
  • Desirable future behaviors that are affected by customer satisfaction, like “likelihood to recommend” and “likelihood to purchase online,” are down. Most significantly, “likelihood to purchase offline” plunged 7.5%, slipping to 62 from 67 last year
  • Internet pure-plays still hold the edge over multichannel retailers in online customer satisfaction.

“Consumers’ likelihood to purchase offline took a big dip from last year, which we attribute to several factors,” said Freed. “Gas prices may encourage some people to buy online, rather than drive to the mall. Also, the tough economy and the flurry of discounting throughout the season leads to more price-comparison shopping and higher expectations for deals.”

About the study: The survey of over 11,000 consumers employed the methodology of the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index and was conducted in partnership with FGI Research. The Top 40 Online Retail Satisfaction Index is composed of the top revenue-grossing online retailers as determined by Internet Retailer.

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