August 12, 2003, 12:00 AM

Retailers are more satisfied with e-retailing, but not as much as consumers

E-retailers scored their industry 8.6% higher than last year in the second annual Insiders View of E-Retailing survey from ForeSee Results and Internet Retailer.


E-retailing insiders are more satisfied with the industry than they were a year ago, says a new survey from Foresee Results and Internet Retailer. E-retailers scored the industry 8.6% higher in the latest survey, conducted in late July, than in last year’s survey, giving the industry a score of 63 on a 100-point scale vs. 58 last year. The score is based on the American Customer Satisfaction Index. “A score of 63 is not a great score, although an increase of 8.6% in one year is a good increase,” says Larry Freed, president of ForeSee Results. “That score says that while the industry is making strides, e-retailing insiders realize they have a long way to go and a lot of hard work ahead.”

By comparison, consumers give the e-retailing business a satisfaction rating of 83. The disparity in scores indicates that e-retailers hold the industry to a high standard that their efforts have not reached yet, Freed says. “E-retailers’ expectations are much higher than the general population’s,” he says.

E-retailers’ rising satisfaction was the result of improved technology for online retailing, a perception that online retailers are providing better customer service and a better mix of product available online, Freed says. “There have been some real strides made in the past year; the better rating is not the result of insiders getting soft on the industry,” Freed says.

Insiders’ views of an industry are important, Freed says, because they are leading indicators. Freed says he expects site functionality, particularly site search, to be areas of retailers’ focus in the near future.

ForeSee Results and Internet Retailer released results of the survey at the eTail 2003 conference in Boston this week.


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