Monday, May 20, 2024

Web Retail All About Customer Experience

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A report released today ranking the top 100 online retailers for customer satisfaction finds that the customer’s experience with a retailer’s Web site is a key component in determining customer loyalty and an indicator of longer-term financial success.

Rating highest were movie rental firm and apparel vendor, which were tied at 85 on a scale of 100 for top of mind with online consumers, followed closely by online retailer and, bookseller Barnes & Noble’s online site, with scores of 83 and 82 respectively.

Near the top, and were tied with five other non-PC and electronics retailers for fifth place – all with scores of 79. Meanwhile PC and electronics retailers and fell just below that, tied at 78 along with another five non-electronics retailers for sixth place.

Perhaps ironically, although those four online PC retailers ranked in the top 20 of the 100 sites rated, the category of computers and electronics itself was tied for last with the apparel and accessories category.

The report, which was produced by online customer satisfaction management firm ForeSee Results of Ann Arbor, Michigan, surveyed 20,000 consumers who had visited the top 100 revenue-grossing retail Web sites identified by the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide within the previous 14 days. It is titled “the ForeSee Results Top 100 Online Retail Satisfaction Index.”

The survey was conducted using a methodology developed at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor called the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), according a statement by ForeSee Results.

Interestingly, the users’ satisfaction with their site experience was the most important criteria for consumers, rather than the lowest price, which drives a lot of purchases in so-called “bricks and mortar” stores.

“Price was the lowest scoring element,” Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results, told “Meeting customers’ needs, setting expectations and living up to them [produces] the kind of satisfaction that drives decisions and customer loyalty more than anything else,” he added.

So who ended up with the lowest rankings? In the computers and electronics category that turned out to be and, both with scores of 67, and with 68. In fact, those three were the lowest ranked Web retailers in the entire survey, which helped to drag down the category overall.

Meanwhile, other computers and electronics online retailers, including,,,, and landed squarely in the middle rankings with figures ranging from 74 down to 70.

According to the report, online retailers tend to do better by investing in improving customers’ online experience than by dropping their prices.

“Satisfaction drives loyalty, positive word of mouth, ROI, and future financial performance,” the report said. It also said researchers found a “tight link between customer satisfaction and customers’ propensity to choose a particular retailer.”

This article was first published on To read the full article, click here.

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