Customer Satisfaction With E-Tailers Soars In Recession

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Americans aren't just buying more online because of the recession -- they're liking it better. A new survey of shoppers at popular Web sites reveals increases in satisfaction with every leading retailer. And, while Web pioneers Amazon and Netflix scored highest in making consumers happy, brick-and-mortar retailers -- including the Gap and Macy's -- were among those registering the biggest year-over-year improvements in ForeSee Results' annual E-Retail Satisfaction Index.

"I was absolutely flabbergasted that every one of these retailers saw an increase," Larry Freed, ForeSee's president and CEO, tells Marketing Daily. "And it was also surprising, as we dug deeper into the results, to see how consistently the larger retailers had emerged as some of the strongest players."

Overall, ForeSee's E-Retail Satisfaction Index jumped 7% to 79 on a 100-point scale, the highest it's been in its five-year history. Following Amazon, which scored an 87, and Netflix, with an 86, Apple, Cabela's -- on the list for the first time, Avon, JCPenney, Newegg, LL Bean and TigerDirect all scored in the top 10. In addition to the Gap and Macy's, SonyStyle, the Home Shopping Network and Overstock. com also registered an improvement of 10% or more.



And altogether, the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based research firm says 11 e-retailers scored over 80, which it considers the threshold for excellence, and surprisingly, none scored below 70. Laggards included the now-defunct Circuit City and Neiman Marcus, which both scored a 73.

Freed says the success of the larger conventional retailers online shows "they have done a very good job of proving that large can also mean flexible and dynamic. And it's clear they are also becoming better at using what they learn about shoppers online to improve their other operations, too."

ForeSee's research also finds that shoppers who are highly satisfied are 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 survey includes 10,000 shoppers at the 40 largest e-tailers, as identified by Internet Retailer.

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