UK’s Best and Worst Online Retailers Named in ForeSee Results Christmas 2008 Online Retail Satisfaction Index
Play.com and Amazon UK tie for 1st placeMarks & Spencer and HMV drop out of top performer category
PC World, Currys, The Orange Shop and B&Q all bottom the list
ForeSee Results, industry leaders in online customer satisfaction measurement, have for a second year measured customer satisfaction with the top 30 e-retailers in the UK, enabling valuable year-on-year comparison to see which retailers have improved and which have slipped over time. The Index measured four high level factors that affect overall customer satisfaction: Functionality, Price, Merchandise and Content. For the first time in 2008, the Index compares year-over year scores for the UK. Over 7,000 survey responses were collected from shoppers who had visited the top 30 e-retail websites in the U.K. from November 28 through December 15 within the previous 14 days. 87 per cent of respondents were from England, 9 per cent were from Scotland and 4 per cent were from Wales.
The Top 30 UK Online Retail Satisfaction Index has revealed a slight increase in overall satisfaction from Christmas 2007 to Christmas 2008: from 66 to 67 on the study’s 100-point scale. More e-tailers saw satisfaction increases than decreases, and some saw spectacular gains. Most importantly however, was that a third of the top 30 online retailers saw their scores drop, a move that most can hardly afford given today’s economic conditions.Key Findings: Retailer Satisfaction Ratings
- Aggregate customer satisfaction with the Top 30 UK Online Retail Satisfaction is up one point (and 1.5%) to a score of 67 on the study’s 100-point scale.
- Range of satisfaction: Scores for retailers span an 18-point range from a high of 78 to a low of 60.
- The Leaders: Nearly a third of the measured websites scored over 70, usually consider the “top performer” threshold for UK e-retailers.
- Amazon UK (up three points) ties Play.com (up two points) for the top spot this year, both with a score of 78.
- Rounding out the list of top tier retailers are eBay UK (staying the same at 72), Apple iTunes UK (entering the Index at 71), Screwfix Direct (up two points to 71), QVC UK (down a point to 70), Ebuyer (steady at 70), ASOS and Argos (both up three points to 70).
- The Fallers: Dropping out of the top performers category this year are HMV (down a point to 69) and Marks & Spencer (down two points to 68).
- The Laggards: Retailers scoring 60 or below are failing to satisfy shoppers and eroding loyalty, especially in a competitive environment when many online retailers are scoring into the 70’s. However, with four e-retailers tied for last with a score of 60, this is a smaller list this year with some big improvements for individual companies:
- B&Q (60), while still tied for the last spot, improved a remarkable seven points over last year, and PC World (60) is up one point.
- The Orange Shop (60) fell one point and Curry’s (60) remained the same year over year.
Christmas 2008 Customer Satisfaction for Top 30 UK Online Retailers – full list of year on year scores
- Of all the specific website elements measured in the study, results indicated that focusing on the availability, selection, and variety of merchandise will have the best return on investment for retailers. A retail website’s content has the lowest impact on shoppers’ likelihood to purchase.
- Satisfaction by product type: Mass merchants (69), retailers that sell a wide array of products, beat out both Apparel/Accessories web retailers (66) and Computer/Electronics retailers (64) in terms of shopper satisfaction. Apparel and Accessories retailers did improve in the aggregate, however, up two points on 2007 scores.
- Internet pure plays again, outperform multichannel retailers (those with stores, catalogues or other non-web channels) by a score of 71 versus 65 – both up one point on 2007 scores.
- UK Vs US - The scores for the top 40 online retailers in the US will not be available until December 29th. However, The U.S. aggregate score is typically much higher (last year, the aggregate for all 40 top retailers was 74 compared to the average in the U.K. of 66 last year and 67 this year).
|Company Name||Satisfaction 2007||Satisfaction 2008||Point change||% change|
|Apple iTunes UK||N/A||71||N/A||N/A|
|Marks & Spencer||70||68||-2||-2.9%|
|M & M Direct||65||67||2||3.1%|
|Tesco Direct ||69||65||-4||-5.8%|
|The Orange Shop||61||60||-1||-1.6%|
|PC World||59||60||1||1.7%|| |
“The Christmas shopping season is the most important time of the year in e-retail, especially during a tumultuous economic time when the last few months of the year may make or break many retailers,” said Larry Freed, CEO of ForeSee Results. “Because such a large percentage of annual sales occur during this critical season, e-retailers have a unique opportunity to acquire new customers for years to come and to strengthen their relationship with existing ones. Additionally, as offline sales slow, the online channel has proven to be a bright spot of the retail economy, meaning that retail websites are even more important than ever.”
He concluded: “UK retailers need to focus most on improving the availability, variety, and appeal of merchandise in order to improve online satisfaction. A retailer’s website content has the lowest impact of customers’ likelihood to buy online or offline, buy again, recommend the website, or return to the website. By focusing on improving key aspects of a website – areas which directly affect customer satisfaction (and therefore a company’s bottom line), retailers can gain maximum results and enjoy repeat business for years to come – critical in today’s market climate.”
The research was conducted using the methodology of the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and the list of retailers was based on site traffic volume data from IMRG sources and the percentage of UK traffic data from Alexa.com. Each included site has a minimum of 50% UK traffic. Travel web sites are not included so that an equal comparison can be made with the US Top 40 online retail benchmark. Survey responses were collected via an online panel provided by Research Now, a leading international online panel and fieldwork organisation. Research Now owns the largest online panel in the UK, comprising of 400,000 consumers, spanning England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
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