Apple, Amazon Lead Online Customer Satisfaction: Survey

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

The report includes individual satisfaction scores with the 40 top e-retailers for the past six years.

Market research firm FGI Research released its annual holiday survey showing that while many e-retailers had a holiday to celebrate, customer satisfaction with the top 40 online retailers overall has fallen since last year.

The sixth annual ForeSee Results E-Retail Satisfaction Index (U.S. Holiday Edition) slipped 1 percent to 78 on the study’s 100-point scale (compared with the 2009 holiday season), but is still significantly higher than previous years. The company said the overall decline could largely be attributed to declining scores for some computer and electronics retailers and mass merchants.

The report includes individual satisfaction scores with the 40 top e-retailers for the past six years, allowing for comparisons over time and between companies. Amazon, Netflix, QVC.com, Avon.com, LLBean.com, Newegg.com and Apple.com are rated by customers as the most satisfying retail Websites, each scoring 82 or higher. Altogether, a dozen retail Websites had superior customer satisfaction scores of 80 or higher.

"In a recovering economy, a lot of us assume that declining satisfaction is a result of frustration with prices. Our research shows that is not always the case, and that it varies drastically from company to company," said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results. "Retailers are slashing prices this time of year to attract customers, and not all of them need to be doing that."

The report found that customer satisfaction has a huge and quantifiable impact on the future success of a Website. Highly satisfied visitors to retail Websites say they are 60 percent more committed to the brand overall, 61 percent more likely to purchase from the retailer online, 35 percent more likely to purchase from the retailer offline, and 64 percent more likely to recommend the retailer than are dissatisfied visitors. The company’s research indicated that increasing customer satisfaction is one of the most powerful things a retailer can do in any channel to increase sales, loyalty and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

"What else can a retailer do between now and next November to make customers 61 percent more likely to purchase, or even 10 percent or 20 percent more likely?" asked Freed. "There are few investments aside from improving customer satisfaction that would have the same impact on sales, loyalty and recommendations, and result in such targeted, actionable recommendations at both strategic and tactical levels."