December 16, 2008, 12:00 AM

Online shopping satisfaction sliding in December, ForeSee Results finds

There’s some slipping going on this holiday season, and it’s not just on icy sidewalks. Consumers say they are less satisfied with their online shopping experiences this year than last, according to ForeSee Results’ weekly holiday survey.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

There’s some slipping going on this holiday season, and it’s not just on icy sidewalks. Consumers say they are less satisfied with their online shopping experiences this year than last, according to ForeSee Results’ weekly holiday survey.

Satisfaction for the second week after Thanksgiving fell 3.09% compared to the same week last year, from 77.6 on a 100 point scale for 2007 to 75.2 this year. The satisfaction rating for the first week after Thanksgiving was down less than 1% compared to last year. However, satisfaction yesterday did rise slightly to 75.7.

Lower satisfaction is to be expected this year because of the economic downturn, says Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results, which measures satisfaction with web sites. However, he adds, “The satisfaction gap between last year and this year is growing and since we’ve seen our measures of online satisfaction tracking with comScore’s weekly revenue reports, it’s starting to look a little worrisome.”

ForeSee offered the following measurements on online shopper satisfaction, comparing 2007 to 2008 and the percent change.

  • Thanksgiving Weekend, 77.1, 75.5, -2.08%
  • The Monday after Thanksgiving, 76.6, 75.5, -0.91%
  • The week after Thanksgiving, 76.3, 75.6, -0.92%
  • The second week after Thanksgiving, 77.6, 75.2, -3.09

Customer satisfaction with online prices was the same for the second week after Thanksgiving as during the prior week, ForeSee says. This likely means sales didn’t end as soon a customers may have expected, the company says.

The study also found that online shopper satisfaction with navigation is at its lowest score in nearly a month. As e-retailers likely have not changed their navigation tools during the holiday period, ForeSee attributes the falling score to increased impatience by shoppers as they try to wrap up online shopping as quickly as possible.

ForeSee also found that likelihood to purchase both online and offline this week is at the lowest level since the beginning of last month. The consumer satisfaction research firm says this figure may confirm earlier predictions that consumers would do much of their shopping on the Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving, and taper spending from there.

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