Survey suggests online shoppers more satisfied early this holiday

Ann Arbor, Mich. -- Annual analysis released today from ForeSee Results suggests that retailers have reason to be cautiously optimistic about the upcoming holiday season. Customer satisfaction with online retailers on Cyber Monday was the same this year as last, 73.1 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index's 100-point scale. However, satisfaction throughout the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday week and weekend was higher this year than in 2009, which bodes well for retailers hoping to see increasing holiday revenues.

“The great news for the one-third of retailers that are doing so well is that satisfied online shoppers are not only more likely to buy online, they're also 47% more likely to buy offline," said Kevin Ertell, VP retail strategy at ForeSee Results.

Other highlights of this year's study include:

* Online shoppers are more satisfied with prices this year than they were last year.

* Site performance scores dipped on Cyber Monday, which is to be expected given the volume of traffic and resulting technical glitches that may occur.

* Online shoppers are more likely to purchase online this year than they were last year as a result of their website visit, but their likelihood to purchase offline after a website visit is on par with last year.

On e-retail websites with superior satisfaction scores (over 80 on the study's 100-point scale), customers report they are significantly more likely to purchase online and offline than are visitors to sites with subpar customer satisfaction (below 70).

"In a struggling economy, retailers providing a great customer experience have more to gain because they'll be the best positioned to capture available market share when other retailers fail to meet customers' increasingly high standards and expectations."

Of ForeSee Results' largest retail benchmark, apparel and accessories retailers are clearly providing the most satisfying experience online, by a wide margin (more than four points higher than the average and 14 points higher than the lowest-scoring computers and electronics retailers).

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