Satisfaction with Top 100 e-retailers rebounded from a dive this time last year, to an all-time high score of 78 points out of 100, a five-point increase, according to ForeSee Results’ annual Top 100 Online Retail Satisfaction Index. The study found that consumers are more satisfied with their online experiences than ever before — nearly every individual retailer registered a score that matched or exceeded previous satisfaction levels.
The research is based on surveys of more than 23,000 visitors to the top 100 e-retail websites by sales volume, as reported in the 2010 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
“The state of the economy really forced e-retail to step up their game,” said study author Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results, in a press release. “Since so much of the financial downturn was out of their control, companies turned to those things they could improve, and now they are reaping the benefits. Customer satisfaction is not a byproduct of a healthy economy. Instead, a healthy economy is a consequence of satisfied customers.”
For the sixth year in a row, Netflix leads the pack with a score of 87, up two points from last year. Amazon, just a single point behind, also maintains its second-place position for the sixth year running. In 2009, only five web sites scored more than 80 (generally considered the threshold for excellence in studies using this methodology), but in 2010, a shocking 28 websites scored 80 or higher. Not a single e-retailer studied scored below 70 (usually the cut off for bottom performers), an unprecedented event in the research’s six-year history. Several companies made huge jumps in score, the most improved being MarketAmerica.com (+12 to 75), Etronics.com (+10 to 73) and Ambercrombie.com (+9 to 79).
The measured retail industries include:
- Specialty (Non-Apparel)
- Mass Merchant
- Hardware/Home Improvement
- Housewares/Home Furnishings
The annual Top 100 E-Retail Satisfaction Index from ForeSee Results indicates the growth in retail. The study quantifies that a highly satisfied online shopper is 73% more likely to purchase online, 47% more likely to purchase offline, 72% more likely to recommend, 53% more likely to return, and 67% more like to purchase again than a dissatisfied shopper. The study also shows that a one-point increase in online customer satisfaction (as measured by this study) translates to roughly $89 million in increased sales for a top e-retailer.
“The impact of customer satisfaction on an e-retailer’s bottom line has never been clearer,” said Kevin Ertell, VP of Retail Strategy at ForeSee Results. “This research proves that customer satisfaction is still the number one driver of loyalty, positive word of mouth, and future purchasing intent. Despite a serious dip in 2009, e-retail has jumped back in line with the other industries we measure, an indication for many that the economy is finally on the way back.”
The Top 100 Online Retail Satisfaction Index report, including a score chart for the top 100 websites, is available for free download here.