More room for online improvement

Customer experience analytics firm ForeSee today released the results of their seventh annual Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index, and Target was ranked 29.

Topping the list was Amazon, which climbed two points to score 88 on the study’s 100-point scale, registering the highest score from any retailer in 14 consecutive studies, compared with Target’s score of 76. Meanwhile, Netflix’s well-publicized blunders caused its customer satisfaction to plummet by seven points and 8% to 79. After years of being separated by a point or two, Amazon and Netflix, which are increasingly in direct competition as Amazon expands into streaming video and rentals, are now separated by nine points in terms of satisfaction, a gulf that may be too wide for Netflix to overcome anytime soon, according to ForeSee.

“Amazon may have started as an online bookstore, but it now competes in almost every significant retail category, and it is setting the bar very high for any company selling online,” according to ForeSee CEO Larry Freed. “E-retailers have consistently upped their game since we first started measuring holiday satisfaction in 2005, but Amazon is still the 800-pound gorilla of retail, and it just keeps getting better. It’s tough for a smaller retailer to compete with this level of dedication to providing an excellent customer experience.”

Since 2005, the average customer satisfaction score for the Index has increased from 74 to 79. A score of 80 is considered the standard for excellence, according to ForeSee. 

“Customer satisfaction is a leading indicator of consumer spending, and the bump in the index is good news for online retailers,” said Freed. “Unemployment is down, consumer confidence is up, and holiday retail sales are up from last year. Improved customer satisfaction suggests the good news may continue into the New Year.”

The firm’s seventh annual holiday online satisfaction report is based more than 8,500 responses from visitors to the top 40 e-retail websites, according to sales revenue as reported by Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide.  Survey responses were collected via FGI Research’s Smart Panel. ForeSee Results used the methodology of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) to calculate the scores. The ACSI is the national standard for customer satisfaction, and this measure has been shown to have a direct link with stock prices and other measures of financial performance. 

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