Retailers, consumers and prices
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.
Blockbuster got into the set-top box game right in time for the holiday season with a new digital media player that brings fewer but newer titles from the Web to TV six months after arch rival Netflix launched its $99 Roku set-top box. Netflix followed that launch with similar partnerships with Tivo, Samsung, LG Electronics and Microsoft.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. While the number of people who watch movies or TV via the Web is still small, media and technology executives believe a host of new technologies will make Web to TV a mainstream staple. Vudu already sells a $299 set-top box that lets users download TV shows, while Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PS3 game consoles can also be used to download programming from the Web for TV viewing.
While the last generation of frozen yogurt sellers offered ice cream-flavored swirls, next-gen “fro-yo” shops peddle a tart and tangy product that tastes closer to unadulterated yogurt — boosting its appeal as a healthy snack.
Check out the 50 percent drop in quarterly profit at JC Penney.
The mid-tier department store operator had warned in late March that its first-quarter profits would be hammered after a drop in store traffic and dismal Easter sales forced it to cut prices to clear out unsold merchandise.
Penney shoppers can expect more price cuts on future visits to the retailer.
The department store operator said it is now trying to get inventory in its stores to better match the weak sales environment, meaning it will roll out more promotions and cut future merchandise orders.