Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Customer Satisfaction with E-Commerce Stalls According to American Customer Satisfaction Index

The American Customer Satisfaction Index's annual E-Commerce Report, produced in partnership with ForeSee Results, shows that customer satisfaction with e-commerce websites is down 2.6% to 79.3 on the ACSI's 100-point scale, its lowest score since 2004. Falling satisfaction with online retail pulls down aggregate satisfaction with the e-commerce sector overall, which also includes online brokerage and online travel.

Online retail dips 3.6% to 80, as customer satisfaction with smaller e-retailers suffers a major drop. The "all others" category, which is an aggregate of smaller e-retailers and other companies not individually measured, plunges 6% to 78. But some of the most notable names in e-retail continue to dominate. Amazon (+1% to 87) and Netflix (-1% to 86) switch places at the top of the industry, and eBay gains 3% to 81. Amazon may have had smaller profits than predicted, but it grew its market share and is in position to continue to lead the industry in sales. Netflix may prove to be ahead of the online entertainment curve by offering less expensive streaming-only accounts. Its satisfaction barely slipped despite a shift in business strategy, which is an indication it is doing the right thing.

Customer satisfaction with online brokerage remains flat at 78, but Charles Schwab overtakes Fidelity at the top for the first time ever. Charles Schwab gains a point to 80, while Fidelity moves in the opposite direction, slipping one point to tie the industry aggregate of 78. But the biggest mover is E*TRADE, which gains 3% to 76 and has improved 10 points since it was first measured in 2000. ForeSee Results research shows that E*TRADE's customers tend to be younger and more likely to interact with the company through newer media like Facebook and mobile apps.

Customer satisfaction with online travel jumps 1.3% to a new all-time high of 78 and an increase of 4% since 2008. Expedia scores 79 to lead the industry, and it has led or held a share of the industry lead since 2000. The "all others" aggregate of smaller online travel sites like Kayak.com gains a point to 79. Travelocity climbs 3% to 77 and Orbitz slips 1% to 75. Priceline drops 4% to 73, losing most of what it had gained last year. Even though Priceline has high revenues, it trails other sites when it comes to brand familiarity and loyalty.

ForeSee Results applied ACSI methodology to measure customer satisfaction with the online experience of these measured companies when accessed via mobile phone. Aggregate satisfaction for e-commerce mobile commerce scores 75, but the results are not even across the board. Brokerage company mobile commerce websites and applications scored significantly better at 81. The retail and travel sectors of e-commerce scored 75. 

More information on customer satisfaction with e-commerce can be found at www.CRMindustry.com.

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