Amazon tops list of online consumer satisfaction in UK
Customers' satisfaction with the standard of service offered by online retailers edged up only slightly last year, a survey reveals today, with retail giant Amazon retaining the top slot.
The findings show the largest retailers continue to attract the highest satisfaction ratings, and while the best continue to get better, the rest are slipping. Nearly two-thirds of the top 40 online retailers were found to be underperforming in comparison with their peers.
The research is published today by customer satisfaction measurement and management specialists ForeSee Results in its annual Christmas customer satisfaction index. December is traditionally the busiest time for online shopping, and it received a further boost this year due to the poor weather.
After a huge year-on-year increase in online customer satisfaction from 2008 to 2009 (from 67 to 71 on a 100-point scale), overall customer satisfaction has increased only slightly this year from 71 to 72.
In terms of the overall rankings, Amazon.com was measured for the first time this year as a separate site, scoring 84 on the scale and elbowing long-standing top UK performer Amazon.co.uk (which scored 83) into second place. Play.com came third, meaning three companies scored 80 or above compared to just one in last year's index.
John Lewis increased by one point to 78, and Marks & Spencer entered the top five for the first time in the study's four-year history with a five point year-on-year increase.
Only seven of the 40 websites saw scores decline, all of which did so by just one point except for Dell EMEA, which dropped three points to 68 – below the online retail aggregate of 72.
Larry Freed, chief executive officer at ForeSee Results, said: "These findings underscore how much retail companies' site visitors can really differ. The larger retailers can and have dedicated resources to improving the online customer experience, even during a global recession, but they still need to keep it up, work hard and innovate to stay ahead.
"The good news for the smaller players is that customer experience is something tangible they can get their hands around with the proper attention and investment."
Andrea O'Donnell, commercial director at John Lewis, said: "We know that customers appreciate being able to shop with John Lewis in a variety of ways. Traditionally this has been in shops, online and via our catalogues. Now our customers can also order online and pick up from a shop, order online in a shop and order on their mobiles. Our commitment to customer service is equally applicable to all these purchasing experiences and our strong sales attest to this."
Sarah Hughes, head of online and digital at HMV said: "As a specialist entertainment retailer, the way we present the products we stock to our customers in store has always been one of the qualities we pride ourselves on. So it's really encouraging to learn that our online shoppers at hmv.com are finding the same engaging experience."