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Online Holiday Shopping Experiences Shed Light on '09

December 30, 2008

While this years holiday shopping season wasn’t as grim as many predicted, consumers did turn to more online retail Web sites than before. Customer's were surveyed about their experiences on these sites, and their responses have shed light onto which retailers will thrive in 2009 and which will struggle to make it online this year.

 
Topping customer's satisfaction online this past season were Amazon and Netflix while Circuit City, Gap, Home Depot, HSN, Neiman Marcus, and Overstock's Web sites didn’t make the cut, according to the report.
 
“In a recession, knowing that improving customer satisfaction with your website can engender that kind of loyalty and purchase intent is like money in the bank,” said Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee Results. “But too many e-retailers are ignoring this crucial metric, and it shows in the results of our study. Only two of the 40 measured e-tailers scored above 80, and more than a quarter scored 70 or below. Nearly 40 pecent saw satisfaction drop year-over-year. That’s just not playing to win in this economy.”
 
For the study, the Top 40 Online Retail Satisfaction Index from ForeSee Results and FGI Research, the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) was used to measure how successful these 40 retail Web sites were at encouraging loyalty and purchase intent.
 
Online shoppers who had good customer experiences while shopping on a Web site were found to much more likely make an online purchase as well as recommend the site than a shopper who is dissatisfied.
 
Just behind the higher ranking Amazon and Netflix, was QVC. Also, according to the study, the most improved Web sites since last holiday shopping season was Wal-Mart.com, HP, Target and Staples.
 
The company notes that retailers who scored low on the satisfaction scale, missed an opportunity in the current market state to leverage the Web and improve their offerings and increase the bottom line.
 
“Consumers were expecting big discounts this season, and price was a pretty important factor, but it’s not the be-all, end-all for satisfaction, even in a recession,” said Freed. “It’s much smarter for the long term to improve satisfaction through web experience improvements than erode brand equity through price cuts. The travails of Detroit’s Big Three automakers illustrate that point profoundly.”
 
Below is a table of the satisfaction rates for each company:
 

Website

Satisfaction
2007

Satisfaction
2008

Point
change

%
change

AGGREGATE SATISFACTION

74

74

0

0

Amazon.com

82

84

2

2.4%

Netflix.com

86

84

-2

-2.3%

QVC.com

80

79

-1

-1.3%

Apple.com

79

78

-1

-1.3%

BN.com (Barnes & Noble)

78

78

0

0.0%

LLBean.com

80

78

-2

-2.5%

Newegg.com

77

78

1

1.3%

Wal-Mart.com

74

78

4

5.4%

Avon.com

79

77

-2

-2.5%

Staples.com

73

77

4

5.5%

TigerDirect.com

77

77

0

0.0%

Shopping.hp.com

71

76

5

7.0%

JCPenney.com

75

76

1

1.3%

VictoriasSecret.com

N/A

76

N/A

N/A

Target.com

72

75

3

4.2%

Zappos.com

78

75

-3

-3.8%

Drugstore.com

74

74

0

0.0%

Nordstrom.com

74

74

0

0.0%

Williams-Sonoma.com

75

74

-1

-1.3%

BestBuy.com

74

73

-1

-1.4%

Dell.com

74

73

-1

-1.4%

Chadwicks.com

73

73

0

0.0%

1800Flowers.com

71

72

1

1.4%

Blockbuster.com

N/A

72

N/A

N/A

Costco.com

72

72

0

0.0%

OfficeDepot.com

71

72

1

1.4%

Buy.com

70

70

0

0.0%

Macys.com

71

70

-1

-1.4%

OfficeMax.com

68

70

2

2.9%

Sears.com

70

70

0

0.0%

SonyStyle.com

70

70

0

0.0%

CircuitCity.com

73

69

-4

-5.5%

Gap.com

74

69

-5

-6.8%

HSN.com

76

69

-7

-9.2%

Overstock.com

70

69

-1

-1.4%

HomeDepot.com

N/A

69

N/A

N/A

NeimanMarcus.com

72

69

-3

-4.2%


Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for ContactCenterSolutions, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Stefania’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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