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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : February 19, 2014

Customer satisfaction with ecommerce lowest in 12 years

It's even-stevens for physical stores and online retailers in terms of customer satisfaction, according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index.

by Helen Leggatt

With online customer satisfaction registering its lowest score for 12 years, and a rise in brick-and-mortar stores' score, the playing field has leveled between the two channels for the first time since e-commerce first featured in the Index 14 years ago.

Online customer satisfaction fell 4.9% last year to a score of 78, the lowest since 2001. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) founder, Claes Fornell, this was due partly to discontent with online services from last-minute shoppers during the 2013 festive shopping period.

However, pure-play retailers, such as Amazon, saw their customer satisfaction score improve by 4% to 88, the Index leader. In fact, the report reveals that it was largely smaller e-commerce players that resulted in the overall drop in customer satisfaction.

Meanwhile, physical stores scored well for product inventory, staff performance, store layout and cleanliness boosting their scores. Top scorers include Costco, Barnes & Noble, Lowe's and OfficeMax - all scoring more than 80.

However, as Fornell points out, despite the overall increase in customer satisfaction at physical stores, "Diminished foot traffic at malls - along with a surge in shopping via mobile phones and tablets - indicates that consumers are increasingly embracing the advantages of online commerce."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: brick-and-mortar, customer satisfaction, ecommerce, retail

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