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Satisfaction with Online Shopping Dips

  |  December 23, 2005   |  Comments

Customer satisfaction with online retailers trended down in mid-December.

As Christmas approaches, online retail takes a hit in terms of customer satisfaction according to the Holiday Shopping Satisfaction Benchmark study from ForeSee Results

The week of December 12 through 18 saw an aggregate drop in customer satisfaction of 0.6 percent to a score of 77.8 percent.

"We attribute the drop in satisfaction to the challenges that time-pressured shoppers face as they turn to the Web for last-minute shopping needs, only to be disappointed and frustrated with their inability to find what they're looking for," said Lee Pavach, director of marketing at ForeSee Results. "Reasons can range from merchandise that is out of stock online, or they aren't using the correct description."

Two additional attitudes affected during the same period were customer loyalty and the likelihood to return to the site and recommend it to others. Customer propensity to return to a retailer's site fell 0.8 percent. The likelihood for an online shopper to recommend an e-commerce site dropped 0.6 percent.

"The challenge is that this drop in satisfaction can have longer-term consequences because it impacts likelihood to return, and to recommend, which can depress long-term sales potential," said Pavach.

Holiday Shopping Satisfaction,
October 31, 2005-January 1, 2006
10/31-11/6 11/7-11/13 11/14-11/20 11/21-11/27 11/28-12/4 12/5-12/11 12/12-12/18
Ordering
process
80.9 80.4 80.4 80.6 80.8 81.1 81.4
Delivery 80.8 80.2 81.8 82.0 82.4 82.2 83.1
Product
quality
86.5 85.3 86.1 86.3 86.1 86.3 86.2
Price 78.9 78.8 78.8 79.0 78.6 79.1 79.7
Satisfaction 74.9 74.3 75.0 75.5 75.4 75.5 76.0
Recommend 77.3 76.7 76.9 77.5 77.4 77.5 78.0
Repurchase 77.8 77.5 77.6 78.4 78.0 78.2 78.8
Source: ForeSee Results, 2005

The trend mirrors one that occurred during the same period last year. "As we approach the holiday shipping deadline, pressured online shoppers are having a tougher time finding the products they want and ordering the merchandise in time," said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results.

"Retailers that do a poor job satisfying customers in these last days leading up to Christmas can bear the brunt of shoppers' frustrations in the future," said Pavach. "Consumers hold their retailer accountable for not meeting their needs and this will impact their future shopping choices."

The benchmark study uses methodology developed by the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) to measure customer satisfaction for over 30 e-tail sites.

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Enid Burns

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