Amazon and Netflix Rank Highest in Online Retail Satisfaction Survey

A study of customer satisfaction with top retail Web sites during the holiday season is shedding light on which online retailers will thrive in 2009 and which could have an uphill battle ahead. Amazon and Netflix continue to delight shoppers online while customer satisfaction with Web sites for Circuit City, Gap, Home Depot, HSN, Neiman Marcus and Overstock fall below industry standards according to the annual Top 40 Online Retail Satisfaction Index from ForeSee Results.

Highlights of the report include:

- The only two e-retailers scoring above 80 on the study's 100-point scale are Amazon and Netflix, both at 84. QVC was a distant third at 79. Not surprisingly, Amazon just reported its best ever holiday season.

- Only 10 Web sites improved online shopper satisfaction since last holiday shopping season, and the most improved are (+5% to 78) and HP's online store (+7% to 76). Other top gainers include Staples (+6% to 77) and (+4% to 75).

- Forty percent of the measured sites saw satisfaction decline year-over-year. The largest declines were for Home Shopping Network (- 9% to 69) and Gap (-7% to 69).

- Retailers scoring 69 or lower are less successful at satisfying shoppers, which can erode loyalty while missing out on a tremendous opportunity to leverage the Web channel to improve the bottom line. Six e-retailers scored 69 this year, and five of the six had lower scores in 2008 than in 2007.

- Prices are a key element of satisfaction for many individual Web sites, but overall, improvements to merchandise and functionality will have a greater return on investment.
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