Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Customer Satisfaction on Cyber Monday Exceeds Expectations

Although Cyber Monday shoppers were less satisfied with their online experience this year than they were in 2007, satisfaction is better than it was a month ago, according to a new study from leading online customer satisfaction measurement firm ForeSee Results. The study collected responses from more than 250,000 people who shopped online between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Online customer satisfaction was actually higher on Cyber Monday than it was at any point in November, including over the holiday weekend. Usually the opposite is true: satisfaction levels fall on Cyber Monday as online shoppers fail to find the deep discounts and free shipping offers they expect.

Key survey results include:

--Cyber Monday shoppers were less satisfied in 2008 than on the same day last year. In 2008, Cyber Monday customer satisfaction was down almost 1% from 2007 (score of 75.9 in 2008 vs. 76.6 in 2007 on the study’s 100-point scale).

--Despite the year-over-year dip in online customer satisfaction on Cyber Monday, satisfaction is actually higher than it was at any point in November, a reversal of the recent trend of satisfaction that is lower on Cyber Monday than in previous weeks. The unusual rise in satisfaction over the holiday weekend and into Cyber Monday can be attributed to e-retailers’ unprecedented ability to live up to the promise of deals and discounts that Cyber Monday shoppers have come to expect. In previous years, dips in customer satisfaction on Cyber Monday have been attributed to strain on systems due to higher volumes and unfamiliarity of new shoppers drawn to the site for the first time by a discount or sale. The rise this year may indicate that e-retail sites are starting to overcome these challenges successfully.

--In a down economy, successful e-retailers have more to gain. ForeSee Results’ data analysis shows that on e-retail websites with superior satisfaction scores (over 80 on the study’s 100-point scale), customers are significantly more likely to purchase online and offline than are visitors to sites with subpar customer satisfaction (below 70).

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