UK’s Best and Worst Named in ForeSee Christmas 2011 Online Retail Customer Satisfaction Index

ForeSee, one of the market leaders of customer satisfaction measurement and management, has today announced the findings of its annual Christmas customer satisfaction Index across the UK’s top 40 online retail websites during December.

 

The findings indicate a slight increase in satisfaction from Christmas 2010 to Christmas 2011: from 72 to 73 on the study’s 100-point scale (an increase of seven points since 2007, when ForeSee conducted its initial study). However, a one-point change still means a great deal in terms of revenue when it represents a change for a large group of retailers.

 

In terms of rankings Amazon.co.uk (85) scored highest this year, edging out Amazon.com (82) to claim the top spot.  Play.com (80) lost one point and now ties for second place with JohnLewis.com, which is up two points on last year and an impressive 11 points from 2007. Apple.com also performed well (up three points to 78) and enters the top five this year; The largest drop in scores came from CineworldCinemas.com (a three point decrease) and Lovefilm.com (a four point decrease). Both sites scored 72, placing them just below the overall e-retail aggregate of 73.

 

The research also reveals that more e-retailers saw satisfaction increases than decreases, and some saw spectacular gains. But thirteen of the top 40 online retailers saw their scores drop, a move that most can hardly afford, given the current economic landscape. This is significant because a highly satisfied UK shopper reports being 62% more likely to buy from that retailer online and 42% more likely to buy offline, as well as being far more likely to return to the site, recommend it, and be loyal to the brand. By comparing scores to the overall aggregate for UK online retailers (73), any retailer falling 72 or below is risking loyalty, recommendations, sales, and market share. By this measure, 23 e-retailers (nearly two-thirds of the top 40) are underperforming compared to their British peers. However, that’s not taking into account the eight retailers that have average scores (73 or 74).

 

This is the fifth year running that ForeSee have measured customer satisfaction with the top 40 online retailers in the UK, enabling valuable year-on-year comparison to see which retailers have improved and which have slipped over time. This revealing data, taken during the prime Christmas shopping season, is the result of nearly 10,000 surveys responses collected from shoppers who had visited the top 40 online retail websites by traffic volume in the UK during November and December. The Index measures four high- level factors that affect overall customer satisfaction: functionality, price, merchandise, and content.

 

Larry Freed, CEO at ForeSee commented: “The Christmas shopping season is the most important time of the year in e-retail – especially this year during such a tumultuous economic period. The last few months of 2011 and early 2012 will most certainly may make or break many retailers.  However, because such a large percentage of annual sales occur during this critical season, e-retailers have a unique opportunity to acquire new customers for years to come, strengthen relationships with existing ones and make a significant difference to their bottom line.”

 

“Our research shows just how important the impact of the online shopping channel is on overall business. One of the best ways to increase that impact is by improving customer satisfaction which results in increased sales, loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth recommendations. We hope to show that understanding customer needs and expectations is critical for retailers to continue to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive and winner-takes-all business environment,” said Freed.

 

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