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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 18, 2009

Study: Satisfaction falling with online consumers

Shoppers may be spending more online during the 2009 holiday season but that doesn't mean etailers are doing their jobs well. According to two recent reports by Foresee Results customer satisfaction is falling amongst online shoppers. Falling satisfaction numbers point to future problems for ecommerce.

by Kristina Knight

Researchers looking at Green Monday (December 14) shopping results found that customer satisfaction with online shopping is lower this year than in 2008. In fact, satisfaction numbers for two other weeks are lower this year than in 2006. According to the report Green Monday satisfaction was 75.7 in 2008 and only 72.5 this year. The weeks of November 30 and December 7 also showed satisfaction numbers lowered by up to three points.

"When we see low and declining scores like this and we understand the relationship between online satisfaction and financial success, we have to be worried," said Kevin Ertell, Vice President of Retail Strategy at ForeSee Results. "What's happening is that those who have been working on the customer experience over the last year are improving it and increasing sales. Retailers who have forced their online channels into static, money-saving mode are going to pay the price for putting customer experience on the backburner during the recession."

Prior to the Green Monday report, Foresee researchers found that, although satisfaction numbers year to year were lower, satisfaction numbers for only the 2009 shopping season were relatively steady at just over 73 points. While that may seem okay to some marketers Kevin Ertell, ForeSee Results Vice President of Retail Strategy says it is not.

"Standing pat is not a winning strategy for e-commerce, and rising customer expectations put a lot of pressure on retailers that have chosen not to continually invest in improvements to their online customer experiences," said Ertell.

Even with lower satisfaction scores comScore reports that shoppers have spent more than $20 billion online so far during the holidays. Although the spend numbers are encouraging for brands, they need to begin thinking about how an improved customer experience can bring even more shoppers to online hubs and even more purchases to their shopping carts.

Tags: comScore, customer satisfaction, ForeSee Results, holiday shopping, holiday spend, online shopping

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  • Very nice post that certainly helps reinforce this particular reader’s appreciation of the power of the customer experience. Might I add that the unprecedented spike in global retail will tail-off in a few days so it's a good moment to draw breath and reflect on the other 350 (or so) days of the year. Falling back to earth with a thud is never fun so it will help us all to remember that a happy customer is for life (not just for Christmas). My point is that a company survives only if it has customers, and grows of course by retaining them and attracting new ones; nowhere else is this truer than in retail. For retailers everywhere assuring business demands that you consistently exceed customer expectations - not just during peak trading. This means that if you are able to assure consistently good consumer experiences across multiple channels - anywhere, anytime, and via myriad interfaces you will dramatically reduce risk and enhance the overall revenue-stream. That is why monitoring your customers' actual experiences when they are attempting to access services both online and in-store is a strategic imperative. You can explore this point of view further here

  • Gregory Creaser

    Today’s online buyer is an extremely savvy shopper and has the resources to find low-priced, quality goods. They are looking for a complete positive experience online, i.e., sales incentives, customer service, and increased security.

    Here at VeriSign we noticed a trend to employ higher security encryption with extended validation SSL as one way to prove to your customers you value their trust. And I agree wholeheartedly, those sites that took the time over the course of the year to implement ecommerce best-practice will remain competitive and profit this season. Others unfortunately have missed the moment.



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