Study: E-Retail Satisfaction Rating Could Be Higher

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Though more than half of online holiday shoppers were highly satisfied with their shopping experience, e-retailers earned a customer satisfaction score of only 69 out of 100, according to a study released last week by online customer satisfaction management firm ForeSee Results.

The Online Holiday Shopping Season survey uses the same methodology and rating scale as the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index. The overall e-retail industry rating of 69 results from a formula that takes user satisfaction into account along with features and functions such as browsing capability, privacy and ease of returns. It adjusts the score for how significantly each component affects factors such as purchase behavior and loyalty.

Ten percent of online shoppers were extremely unsatisfied with their experience. Of those shoppers, two-thirds do not plan to shop online next year.

The study did reveal some good news for e-retailers in that 59 percent of online shoppers said they were highly satisfied. Seventy-one percent said they likely will shop online next holiday season. In addition, 69 percent said they were very likely to recommend the experience to others, and 63 percent said they are very likely to shop online again within two months.

According to the study, holiday-time satisfaction levels determine consumers' future behaviors, and e-retailers that understand the components and drivers of customer satisfaction will be rewarded. Satisfied consumers are 50 percent more likely to make online purchases again within two months, which gives e-retail a powerful incentive to improve satisfaction and thereby ensure that business comes their way through the year.

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