E-Commerce Satisfaction Rises; Amazon Losing Edge

by , Feb 26, 2013, 12:01 AM
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As American consumers become more and more used to online shopping, digital pioneers, including Amazon, are losing their customer satisfaction edge. According to the just-released American Customer Satisfaction Index’s annual E-Commerce Report, overall satisfaction rose 1.2% this year to 81.1 on its 100-point scale. 

Amazon is still leading, dropping 1% to 85, from 86 last year. Newegg also fell 1% to 84, while eBay rose 2% to 83. But most notably, the “all others” category -- an aggregate of e-retailers and other companies not large enough to be measured on their own -- jumps 3% to 82. And it’s worth nothing that “all others” also includes the Web sites of leading brick-and-mortar chains.

“E-commerce is maturing, and even the smaller companies are improving, keeping up with or sometimes surpassing larger, more established companies,” ACSI founder Claes Fornell, who also teaches at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, says in a release. “The e-commerce landscape changes faster than more traditional industries, and the rules can be rewritten by new players or new technologies, like mobile. Disruption will always be a part of e-commerce, but innovation will likely keep the sector near the top in customer satisfaction.”

By comparison, brick-and-mortar retail gets much lower scores: 76.6 on average.

Among specialty stores, Nordstrom leads the category at 84, three points above its nearest-scoring competitors (JCPenney, Kohl’s, and Target) who score 81. Walmart is once again at the bottom (+1% to 71).

Netflix -- which plunged last year in the wake of disastrous pricing changes -- crept up 1% to 75, but remains the lowest-scoring company is ACSI’s e-commerce index. 

Propelled by recovery in financial markets, brokerage sites bounced back, with Fidelity, “all others,” Charles Schwab and TDAmeritrade leading. Overall, the category grew by 2.6% to 86. E*TRADE had the largest drop of any e-commerce company, falling 8% to 73, a year after setting a record high. 

The brokerage category’s gain, based on the jump in “all others,’ is more proof, ACSI says, “that industry leaders cannot and should not rest on their laurels just because they are well established.”

The index is produced in partnership with ForeSee, a customer experience analytics firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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