December 30, 2009, 12:00 AM

Amazon and Netflix satisfy the most holiday customers, survey says

Amazon.com had the highest-ever customer satisfaction score for an online retailer this holiday season, according to a new study from ForeSee Results and FGI Research report.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Amazon.com Inc. had the highest-ever customer satisfaction score for an online retailer this holiday season, according to a new study from ForeSee Results and FGI Research report. And, for the fourth straight year, the world`s largest online retailer and Netflix Inc. had the most satisfied customers during the season.

Overall, the customer satisfaction scores for top retail web sites during the season improved nearly 7% from a year ago. Moreover, not a single retailer saw a dip in shoppers’ satisfaction. A year ago, about 40% of sites experienced a drop.

“Even in this tough economic climate, e-retail continues to be the bright spot in a dark environment and last year’s declines are proving to be the anomaly,” says Larry Freed, ForeSee Results president and CEO. “But those gains aren’t necessarily shared across the board. These are the biggest retailers on the web, and they’ve got the ability to invest in the web channel and even meet the price points that consumers are looking for in this economy. Smaller and midsized e-retailers may not be so lucky.”

The study found that a highly satisfied online shopper, compared to a dissatisfied online shopper, is 65% more likely to purchase online, 44% more likely to purchase offline, and 70% more likely to recommend sites and products.

The annual Top 40 Online Retail Satisfaction Index uses the predictive methodology of the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index to examine how successful the top 40 retail web sites are at encouraging loyalty and purchase intent.

Eleven e-retailers scored above 80 on the study’s 100–point scale, generally considered the threshold for excellence by the satisfaction index-with Amazon.com, Netflix, QVC Inc., Apple Inc. and Cabela’s Inc. leading the pack. The average for the 40 sites was 79. A year ago only Amazon and Netflix scored above 80.

Several retailers made huge jumps in score, with Macys.com, which saw a 13% jump from a year ago, Gap (a 10% increase) and Overstock.com (a 10% increase) leading the way.

Following are the top 11 retail web sites in 2009 holiday season customer satisfaction ranked by score, including the percent change over 2008:

    1) Amazon.com, 87, +3.6%
    2) Netflix.com, 86, +2.4%
    3) QVC.com, 83, +5.1%
    4) Apple.com, 82, +5.1%
    5) Cabelas.com, 82%, NA
    6) Avon.com, 81, +5.2%
    7) JCP.com, 81, +6.6%
    8) Newegg.com, 81, +3.8%
    9) LLBean.com, 80, +2.6%
    10) TigerDirect.com, 80, +3.9%
    11) VictoriasSecret.com, 80, +5.3%

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