The Top 30 UK Online Retail Satisfaction Index from ForeSee Results?found a slight increase in overall customer satisfaction from Christmas 2007 to Christmas 2008 – and went from 66 to 67 on the study’s 100-point scale – writes Retailer Daily.
However, one-third of the top 30 online retailers’ scores dropped, hardly encouraging in the current economic conditions.
ForeSee Results measured customer satisfaction with the top 30 e-retailers in the UK, considering four high-level factors that affect overall customer satisfaction: functionality, price, merchandise and content.
Of all the specific website elements measured in the study, results indicated that focusing on the availability, selection, and variety of merchandise will have the best return on investment for retailers.
Key Findings: Retailer Satisfaction Ratings
- Aggregate customer satisfaction with the Top 30 UK Online Retail Satisfaction is up one point (and 1.5%) to a score of 67 on the study’s 100-point scale.
- Range of satisfaction: Scores for retailers span an 18-point range from a high of 78 to a low of 60.
- The leaders: Nearly one-third of the measured websites scored over 70, considered the “top performer” threshold for UK e-retailers
- Amazon UK (up three points) ties Play.com (up two points) for the top spot this year, both with a score of 78
- Rounding out the list of top tier retailers are eBay UK (staying the same at 72), Apple iTunes UK (entering the Index at 71), Screwfix Direct (up two points to 71), QVC UK (down a point to 70), Ebuyer (steady at 70), ASOS and Argos (both up three points to 70).
- The fallers: Dropping out of the top performers category this year are HMV (down a point to 69) and Marks & Spencer (down two points to 68).
- The laggards: Retailers scoring 60 or below are failing to satisfy shoppers and eroding loyalty, especially in a competitive environment when many online retailers are scoring into the 70’s. However, with four e-retailers tied for last with a score of 60, this is a smaller list this year with some big improvements for individual companies
- B&Q (60), while still tied for the last spot, improved a remarkable seven points over last year, and PC World (60) is up one point
- The Orange Shop (60) fell one point and Curry’s (60) remained the same year over year.
- Satisfaction by product type: Mass merchants (69), retailers that sell a wide array of products, beat out both Apparel/Accessories web retailers (66) and Computer/Electronics retailers (64) in shopper satisfaction. Apparel and Accessories retailers did improve in the aggregate, however, moving up two points on 2007 scores.
- Satisfaction by channel type: Internet pure-plays again outperformed multichannel retailers (those with stores, catalogs or other non-web channels) by a score of 71 to 65–both up one point on 2007 scores. There was a tie between Amazon and Play for top pure-play spot, while Screwfix Direct (71) and Argos (70) topped the list of multichannel retailers.
Satisfaction Affects Online Shoppers’ Future Behaviors
The methodology used to conduct the survey scientifically quantifies the key role that online customer satisfaction plays for UK retailers. Satisfied shoppers are more likely to shop online and offline as well as more likely to return to the website or recommend it. It also leads to:
- Future purchase: When compared with shoppers who are dissatisfied with an online experience (rating their experience 60 and lower), shoppers who are highly satisfied with a retail website (rating their satisfaction 80 or higher) are an incredible 91% more likely to purchase online and 43% more likely to purchase offline.
- Loyalty and market share: Highly satisfied shoppers are a remarkable 82% more likely to buy from that retailer the next time they buy similar merchandise, 85% more committed to the brand, 74% more likely to return to the website, and 82% more satisfied with the retailer overall.
- Positive impression with the retailer overall: As compared to dissatisfied shoppers, satisfied online shoppers are 82% more satisfied with the retailer overall, just based on their experience on the website.
- Positive word of mouth marketing: Highly satisfied shoppers are 99% more likely to recommend the website to a friend, family member, or colleague than are dissatisfied shoppers.
About the findings: Over 7,000 survey responses were collected from shoppers who had visited the top 30 e-retail websites in the UK from November 28 through December 15 within the previous 14 days. 87 percent of respondents were from England, 9 percent were from Scotland and 4 percent were from Wales. The research was conducted using the methodology of the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and the list of retailers was based on site traffic volume data from IMRG sources and the percentage of UK traffic data from Alexa.com. Each included site has a minimum of 50% UK traffic. Travel web sites are not included so that an equal comparison can be made with the US Top 40 online retail benchmark. Survey responses were collected via an online panel provided by Research Now.