E-commerce sites exceeded the threshold of excellence in customer satisfaction last year, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, and new data from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) confirms that online merchants are providing worthy experiences to visitors. Across 16 industry segments examined in the BCG study, online merchants came in second with a “digital satisfaction score” of 11.8, putting them squarely in the bucket of leaders who are best able to satisfy their consumers’ expectations. Close behind, media retailers, with a score of 11.1.
The reason these segments are scoring highly is that they’re able to meet their customers’ top priorities. Those priorities include: accessing information; comparing options; finding the product they’re looking for; and getting a better price.
On the whole, retail segments performed well in digital satisfaction scores, with electronics retail (10) also in the leader category, and apparel retail (8.9) at the top of the “aspirants” category. Only supermarkets fell into the “sleepers and laggards” bucket, with a score of 5.8.
While retail segments occupied 4 of the top 5 segments scores, the top position belonged to a finance segment: personal banking. With a digital satisfaction score of 15.2, this segment performed far above all others. The reason? Banks have shined at providing customers with easy access to information online, the ability to get quick help, and the capacity to easily complete transactions, their top drivers of satisfaction.
- Travel segments fell into the “aspirants” bucket, with airlines (8.5) out in front of hotels (8) in digital satisfaction. These segments did well in facilitating research, but not as well enabling easy transactions.
- Insurance (4) and telco and cable (3.5) were among the lowest-scoring segments, with only roughly 1 in 2 consumers being very satisfied with their online experiences with these segments.
About the Data: The BCG study describes its methodology as follows:
“The BCG Digital Satisfaction and Value Survey, conducted in March 2013, had 3,135 total respondents, including 2,242 respondents on satisfaction and 893 on value. The survey covered the following sectors (and segments): automobiles, finance (personal banking, investments, and insurance), government services, heath care, retail (apparel, electronics, media, online merchants, and supermarkets), real estate, travel (airlines and hotel), and utilities (telco and cable, electricity, gas, and water). We defined a connected consumer as someone accessing the Internet at least weekly and engaging with firms online across a range of sectors.
We investigated the value these consumers derive from digital access to companies and organizations in key business segments. Digital access was defined as use of a PC, smartphone, or tablet to perform certain actions: researching products and services (for example, comparing prices or checking the opening hours of a given store); transacting online (for instance, paying bills or buying a product); and engaging in post-transaction activities (including checking account balances or customer service communications). We specifically excluded the consumption of actual products and services online. The research methodology revealed how much consumers value digital access by asking them to trade Internet usage in the eight sectors for the opportunity to receive varying amounts of cash.”