ForeSee Holiday Customer Satisfaction Study: Amazon Sets Standard; JCPenney, Apple, Dell Drop

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Study Finds Customers Want More Merchandise Appeal and Variety from Most
Retailers

Ann Arbor, Mich. (December 27, 2012) – Internet-retail giant Amazon remains
at the head of the class, according to the annual Holiday E-Retail
Satisfaction Index released today by customer experience analytics firm
ForeSee. The eighth annual report-based on more than 24,000 customer surveys
collected during the prime holiday shopping season between Thanksgiving and
Christmas-expands from measuring satisfaction with 40 top retailers to 100
this year. Aggregate customer satisfaction stagnates, scoring 78 on a
100-point scale Though satisfaction with top retailers remains the same, a
few big-name retailers suffered declines. Apple’s online retail store slides
four percent to 80, slipping from a tie for second place and out of the top
five entirely, registering its lowest score in four years. PC competitor
Dell.com also falls four percent to 77 and below the Index average. But the
biggest year-over-year decline goes to JCPenney.com, with a six percent
decline to 78.

“This year, we’re seeing that even some of the largest companies in the
country are at risk if they lose sight of customer satisfaction,” said Larry
Freed, ForeSee president and CEO. “Satisfaction with the customer
experience, when measured correctly, is the most important predictor of
future success, and while Amazon clearly gets it, Apple stumbles from their
usual focus on the customer experience. Dell, and JCPenney seem to be
struggling to find their way, which could make them extremely vulnerable to
competitors.”

Meanwhile, Amazon.com continues to set the standard for customer
satisfaction, matching the record high of 88 it set last year in the holiday
edition of the Index. Amazon has had the highest scores in the Index for
eight years in a row, consistently setting a pace that other retailers don’t
seem to be able to touch. Their high score is partially because of the
appeal and variety of merchandise they offer, a priority area for some other
retailers.

“At this point, Amazon has been dominant for so long and has such a history
of focusing on the customer, it’s hard to imagine anyone else coming close,”
added Freed. “Companies should emulate Amazon’s focus on the customer, which
is clearly linked to superior revenues over the years.”

The range of scores among the top 100 retailers spans from Amazon’s high of
88 to a score of 72 shared by Gilt.com and Fingerhut.com.

The report includes individual satisfaction scores for 95 of the 100 top
e-retailers (see chart below; sample sizes weren’t large enough to report
scores for a handful of retailers). In addition to the previous points about
individual company performance, other key findings include:

. Merchandise is a top priority for two-thirds of retailers: Customer
experience analytics can provide retailers with a clear direction on
prioritizing improvements that will have the greatest return on investment.
While many retailers are focused on price, only seven of the top 100
companies registered price as a high priority for improvement. However, 65
of the measured sites should improve merchandise (the appeal, variety, and
availability of products) in order to increase overall satisfaction, and by
extension, sales, loyalty and customer recommendations.

. Customer satisfaction matters: Compared to shoppers who report being
dissatisfied with a website, highly satisfied shoppers say they are 67% more
likely to consider the company the next time they purchase a similar
product. Satisfied shoppers also report being far more likely to return to
the site, recommend it and stay loyal to the brand. Furthermore, analysis of
top e-retailers in the United States has shown that, on average, a one-point
change in website satisfaction was found to predict a 14% change in the log
of revenues generated on the web.

About the ForeSee Results E-Retail Satisfaction Index (U.S. Holiday Edition)
The eighth annual holiday online satisfaction report is based on more than
24,000 responses from visitors to the top 100 e-retail websites according to
sales revenue as reported by Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide. Survey
responses were collected via research panel. ForeSee Results uses technology
based on a methodology that has been shown to have a direct link with stock
prices and other measures of financial performance.

About ForeSee
As a pioneer in customer experience analytics, ForeSee continuously measures
satisfaction across customer touch points and delivers critical insights on
where to prioritize improvements for maximum impact. Because ForeSee’s
superior technology and proven methodology connect the customer experience
to the bottom line, executives and managers are able to drive future success
by confidently optimizing the efforts that will achieve business and brand
objectives. The result is better business for companies and a better
experience for consumers. Visit www.foresee.com for customer experience
solutions and original research.

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