Customer satisfaction with e-commerce sites improved in 2012, outpacing satisfaction ratings with traditional retail stores for the 11th consecutive year, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The index for e-commerce sites (encompassing internet brokerage, retail, and travel) rose a point from 2011 to a score of 81.1 on ACSI’s 100-point scale, with 80 considered the threshold for excellence. The index for retail trade (consisting of department and discount stores, gas stations, health and personal care stores, specialty retail stores, and supermarkets) inched up a half-point to 76.6, its highest level on record.
Looking at the category breakdowns, the data reveals that:
- Online brokerages improved from a score of 76 in 2011 to 78 in 2012, led by Fidelity (78) and the aggregate of smaller brokerages;
- The index for online retailers improved for a second consecutive year, climbing to 82;
- Amazon (unsurprisingly) maintained its top position among online retailers, despite dropping a point to 85;
- After a huge decline between 2010 and 2011, Netflix stabilized, up a point to 75;
- Satisfaction with online travel sites fell from 78 to 76, with Expedia continuing to be one of the leaders despite dropping 3 points to the category average;
- Department and discount stores improved a point to 77, with Nordstrom clearly out in front (84);
- Specialty retailers dropped a point to 78, led by Office Depot, which soared from 79 to 84 to overtake Costco (83); and
- Publix (up 2 points to 86) outstripped the competition in the supermarkets category, which gained a point to 87.
About the Data: The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is an independent national benchmark of customer satisfaction with the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the United States.
Each year, roughly 70,000 customers are surveyed about the products and services they use the most. The survey data serve as inputs to an econometric model that benchmarks customer satisfaction with more than 230 companies in 47 industries and 10 economic sectors, as well as over 100 services, programs, and websites of federal government agencies.