ANN ARBOR, Mich. — More retail websites this year achieved a "threshold for excellence" on customer experience analytics firm ForeSee's annual Top 100 E-Retail Satisfaction Index.
ForeSee reported that 36-out-of-100 online retailers achieved a satisfaction score of 80 or higher, compared with 28-out-of-100 websites that received the distinction last year. Although Amazon.com topped the list with a 2012 satisfaction score of 89 — up three points from 2011 — many other retailers, particularly retail pharmacies and grocery retailers, earned a high score:
Walmart.com earned a satisfaction score of 82, up three points from last year;
Walgreens.com earned a satisfaction score of 81, up two points from last year;
CVS.com and Target.com both gained one point this year, earning satisfaction scores of 79 each;
Safeway.com rose one point to earn a satisfaction score of 74; and
With increases, came declines: Costco.com dropped one point to 79 for its 2012 satisfaction score; however, the retailer is one of the most improved since they were first measured by the index (up nine points).
"We're measuring the biggest players in the game, and they just keep getting better and better. Because customer satisfaction, as we measure it, is predictive, that's a good sign not only for the consumer experience, but for the bottom line of internet retailers as well," study author and ForeSee president and CEO Larry Freed said. "If there's a negative spin to these positive trends, it is that this puts even more pressure on all other e-retailers to keep up or catch up."
Freed also noted that ForeSee — which has been producing the Top 100 E-Retail Satisfaction Index since 2005 — found that consumers "wield unprecedented power in the marketplace," noting that technology and social media allow them to express their opinion of retailers anytime, anywhere.
"Highly satisfied website visitors are nearly 70% more likely to recommend the website to others than dissatisfied customers," he said. "In the modern world of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, it is even more imperative to provide the best experience possible to your customers because any experience has huge potential to be amplified, for better or for worse."
Freed added that compared with dissatisfied site visitors, satisfied visitors said they are 72% more likely to purchase online, 56% more likely to purchase offline and 67% more likely to purchase from that retailer next time they're in the market for a similar product (a good proxy for loyalty).
For more information about Foresee's Top 100 E-Retail Satisfaction Index, visit Foresee.com.