Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Netflix tops customer satisfaction survey

May 11, 2009

NETFLIX-OUTAGE/Online retail may be outperforming brick-and-mortar rivals amid the U.S. recession, but that’s no reason to get complacent.

In a wake-up call to the industry, a new survey shows that customer satisfaction with online retailers declined 3 percent from last year.

The slipping satisfaction level uncovered in ForeSee Results’ Top 100 Online Retail Satisfaction Index is a “remarkable trend,” according to its author.

The report — which surveyed 22,000 respondents to measure customer satisfaction at the top 100 online retailers by sales volume — found that the top performers were outweighed by more bottom performers, with 55 online retailers seeing their scores drop from last year.
 
“Customer satisfaction, when measured scientifically, is not just a number or a beauty contest. It is a direct precursor of customer behaviors that have a measurable and quantifiable ability to impact sales and profitability,” warned author Larry Freed.
    
A 1 point increase in customer satisfaction is equivalent to nearly 9 percent growth in online sales, the report found, while a satisfied shopper is 71 percent more likely to buy than a dissatisfied one. 
    
First, the good news: Netflix.com is still No 1, followed by Amazon.com, with the top two companies maintaining their spots for five years in a row.  Avon.com came in third.

While a score of 80 or above represents a superior job, those logging lower than a 70 need some help.

That group includes 1800Flowers.com, BlueNile.com, JCrew.com, UrbanOutfitters.com and RestorationHardware.com.

The biggest year-over-year declines in customer satisfaction came from discounter Etronics.com and book retailer efollett.com, both also among the worst performers.
    
“It is surprising that any of the top 100 retailers could get away with scores in the 60s and maintain any kind of market dominance for very long,” wrote Freed.
    
While not in the bottom group, sites including CVS.com, NeimanMarcus.com, Apple.com and Blockbuster.com all saw their ratings fall over 6 percent from the prior year.

The biggest year-over year improvement came from Kohls.com, which improved nearly 6 percent.

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •