A simple retail truth has stood the test of time: satisfied customers lead to return visits and increased sales. To uncover which companies have the highest customer satisfaction, the American Customer Satisfaction Index interviewed 180,000 consumers to gather their opinions on more than 300 companies.
The annual American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report ranks the nation’s most satisfying retailers in five key retail segments: Department & Discount; Internet Retail; Specialty Retail; Supermarkets; and Health & Personal Care.
The ACSI’s proprietary scoring system ranks each retailer on a 100-point scale. In addition to the individual retailer scores, the report also provides a snapshot of overall customer satisfaction by retail segment. Internet Retail tailed the highest score with an 82 overall, but both Health & Personal Care and Supermarkets were close on its heels, both scoring a 79 with 1.3% year-over-year gains.
Here is a quick look at the top finisher in each retail segment.
- Department and Discount
BJ’s Wholesale Club
- Internet Retail
- Specialty Stores
Barnes & Noble
O’Reilly Auto Parts
- Health and Personal Care
Below is a look at the 10 retailers that scored the highest overall in the rankings. Surprisingly, six of the 10 top finishers were from the supermarket segment. The supermarket segment reached an all-time high on the ranking, as nearly every food retailer made gains in the ranking.
According to the ACSI, Amazon’s presence in the market has forced all grocers to up their game. The segment is now hyper focused on providing natural and organic food at affordable prices, improving prepared food selection, renovating and expanding stores, and investing heavily in technology to improve the experience.
The top 10 finisher were:
Publix operates a chain of supermarkets in the Southeastern U.S. The grocer is the largest employee-owned company in the world. The innovative chain continues to invest in technology to improve the customer experience, going live with a curbside pickup pilot last fall and aggressively expanding its delivery service over the past two years. To facilitate that growth the grocer is currently in talks with Greensboro, NC to build a massive 1.8 million foot distribution center in the city, which would bring 1,000 jobs to the area by 2023 and greatly increase Publix’s supply-chain efficiency. ACSI Score: 86.
Amazon dropped one point in this year’s ranking to finish with a score of 85, good for second-place overall and first in the Internet Retail category. The ultimate retail disruptor continues to advance the shopping experience with Amazon Go, Alexa, and new partnerships and acquisitions. The latest rumor, that the online behemoth is interested in acquiring a portion of Toys ‘R’ Us’ locations, could further advance the retailer’s capabilities. It would give the brand an additional physical space to display its Alexa devices and serve as another distribution point to lessen the time from buy box to doorstep. ACSI Score: 85.
The apparel retailer finished in first place in the specialty store segment, improving its score by 5% year-over-year, the largest increase recorded in the report. ACSI points to increased investment in its brick-and-mortar presence for the impressive bump in customer satisfaction. Despite its solid customer satisfaction score, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, La Senza, Henri Bendel saw its stock price tumble in February when it announced disappointing earnings from Q4. ACSI Score: 85.
The healthy and organic grocer finished in second-place in the highly competitive supermarket ranking, just one point behind segment and overall satisfaction leader Publix. Trader Joe’s was able to turn in such an impressive performance despite posting a one-point reduction from last year’s customer satisfaction score. The privately owned grocer celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017 with chain-wide games, giveaways, tastings and more designed to greater connect with its loyal shopper base. ACSI Score: 85.
Aldi has become a major player in the grocery space thanks to its commitment to providing quality no-frills brands at discount prices. Just because the brand is known for its low prices does not mean it is cheap, in fact the grocery is in the middle of a $1.6 billion remodeling initiative that will modernize 1,300 of its brick-and-mortar locations. In addition to the massive outlay of funds for the store remodels, the retailer continues to invest in analytics, new payment methods and fulfillment capabilities to pinpoint and meet shopper demand. ACSI Score: 84.
Wegmans Food Markets is dedicated to providing an alluring and memorable grocery shopping experience. With more than 90 stores, that feature everything from sushi bars to hamburger stands, the regional grocery chain reportedly rakes in more than $8 billion in annual sales. But the retailer is not just focused on the in-store experience, it offers same-day delivery in select markets thanks to its partnership with Instacart. ACSI Score: 84.
Newegg is an online pure-play that focuses on computer hardware and consumer electronics. The $2.6 billion company made Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies. The retailer has built a loyal shopper based on low prices and daily promotions, special offers and flash sales. ACSI Score: 83.
Costco is the only retailer in the top 10 to land top positions in two categories: Supermarkets and Department & Discount. The retailer’s innovative membership model helped define the space, while its immersive in-store experience, low prices and constantly evolving product array keeps shoppers coming back for more. Like all modern-day grocers, having an alluring in-store experience is not enough to ensure long-term success for Costco, the mega retailer recently announced two new grocery delivery options: two-day and same-day delivery. ACSI Score: 83.
H-E-B Grocery Company is an institution in Texas, with more than 350 stores in the state and northeast Mexico. While the grocer was founded more than 100 years ago, its commitment to continued innovation has kept it relevant, especially with the younger generation. In fact, a report by YouGov BrandIndex found that the retailer is a top 10 favorite brand among Millennials. The grocery continues to enhance and evolve its home-delivery program, pilot new checkout options, expand its meal-kit offerings and test smart glasses for its associates. ACSI Score: 83.
While Cabela’s is still sorting out the inner workings from Bass Pros Shops’ 2016 acquisition of the outdoor and sporting goods retailer, customers continue to connect with the brand. It finished in second place in the Specialty Stores competition. The key to Cabela’s consumer appeal is its sprawling and interactive in-store experience. Whether they are scaling a rock wall or marveling over a hunting display there is always something to do and see inside of a Cabela’s. ACSI Score: 82.