Posted December 30, 2009 10:57 am by with 2 comments

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ForeSee Results has issued the results of its annual E-Retailer Satisfaction Index—a survey of 10,000 shoppers at the top 40 retailers—and the results are good—if you’re a big e-tailer. If not, well—let’s just say you’re pulling down the average.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, the 40 largest online retailers averaged a satisfaction score of 79 on a scale of 100, up five points from the 2007 and 2008 steady results. But for their sample of over 100 large and small e-tailers, overall satisfaction was down to 73, off from 75 in 2008 and 77 in 2007.

MediaPost adds an important finding, too:

ForeSee’s research also finds that shoppers who are highly satisfied are 65% more likely to purchase online, 44% more likely to purchase offline, 70% more likely to recommend, and 49% more likely to return than a dissatisfied shopper.

While satisfaction drives purchases, a leading indicator of satisfaction wasn’t competitive pricing or free shipping—but the website’s ease of use. ForeSee CEO Larry Freed noted that most of the top 40 also work hard to integrate their online experience with that of their offline brick-and-mortar. Only six of the top 40 are not associated with an offline retailer—with Amazon, the long-time satisfaction leader, one of those notable exceptions. (Amazon leads the satisfaction survey with its score of 87.)

Web-only stores, Freed says, succeed when they make sure to include information such a product reviews and continually invest in their user experience, including the look and feel of the site.

Naturally, the satisfaction index shows a strong positive correlation with sales. According to comScore reports, the top 25 retailers saw a 13% increase in holiday spending YOY, while small and medium companies saw a 10% decline. The overall holiday spending was up 4% over last year.

What do you think? Were you more satisfied with online shopping this year? Do you use smaller retailers or do you tend to stay in the top 40?

Photo credit: Joel Telling

  • Interesting stats, thanks for posting. Over the years, I’ve found myself shopping online more

  • I could not care less what the top 40 are doing, but what I am interested in is what works for the smaller guys. I do not shop at online versions of big box retailers.