Study: Consumer Satisfaction Online Grows

Customers of the largest online retailers were more satisfied with their online experience this holiday season than last, according to an annual report on holiday shopping by customer service management firm ForeSee Results.

The E-Retail Satisfaction Index grew 7% to a new all-time high of 79 on the Index’s 100-point scale. The most improved sites include Macys.com (+13% to 79), Gap.com (+10% to 76) and Overstock.com (+10% to 76).

“But those gains aren’t necessarily shared across the board,” said Larry Freed, president/CEO of ForeSee Results, in a statement. “These are the biggest retailers on the web, and they’ve got the ability to invest in the web channel and even meet the price points that consumers are looking for in this economy. Smaller and midsized e-retailers may not be so lucky.”

Amazon had the highest score with an 87, and improved 4% since last year while setting a new high-score for the Index. Eleven i-merchants scored over 80, which Freed said is generally considered the threshold for excellence in studies using this methodology, and none of those clients surveyed scored below 70.

The annual Top 40 E-Retail Satisfaction Index from ForeSee Results and FGI Research uses the patented methodology of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which was developed at the University of Michigan and is a proven predictor of consumer spending.

The study quantifies that a highly satisfied online shopper is 65% more likely to purchase online, 44% more likely to purchase offline, 70% more likely to recommend, and 49% more likely to return than is a dissatisfied shopper.

The report includes an analysis of what website elements would have the most impact on overall satisfaction if improved. For most companies, improving price – either actual prices or consumers’ perceptions of price – topped merchandise and functionality as a customer priority, though priorities differ from company to company.

How does your e-commerce site stack up with the best of the best? Enter the 2010 MCM Awards today and your site will be evaluated by some of the greatest minds in the industry.

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