December 1, 2010, 11:39 AM

Holiday shoppers are slightly more satisfied with e-commerce sites

Foresee Results rates nearly a third of retail sites as providing excellent service.

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Sound another note of cautious optimism for the holiday shopping season: A report released today by Foresee Results Inc. suggests that online shoppers were somewhat more satisfied with e-commerce sites during the Thanksgiving week than they were last year.

The customer satisfaction survey company measured 136 retail web sites on a 100-point scale. In some 500,000 surveys, consumers who shopped retail web sites were asked about such features as navigation, price, merchandise, product browsing and site performance.

Foresee says that retail sites achieved a score of 73.7 for the Thanksgiving week—Nov. 22 to Nov. 28—up slightly from 73.5 for the similar period last year. For Thanksgiving weekend—Nov. 26 to Nov. 28—web sites achieved a 73.4 score, up from 73.2 last year. For Cyber Monday—Nov. 29—the overall site score was 73.1, the same as last year.

Even small gains can mean more revenue for online retailers, Foresee says. A one-point increase in satisfaction can lead to a 9% gain in annual revenue, Foresee says, based on its data.

“In a struggling economy, retailers providing a great customer experience have more to gain because they’ll be the best positioned to capture available market share when other retailers fail to meet customers’ increasingly high standards and expectations,” says Kevin Ertell, vice president of retail strategy at Foresee.

The company considers a score of 80 to be excellent for individual web sites. Forty of the 136 sites—or 29%‑‑qualify as excellent. By category, apparel and accessories retailers achieved the highest consumer satisfaction scores for Thanksgiving week, 77.3, compared with 74.1 for specialty retailers and 63.6 for consumer electronics retailers.

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