ForeSee Results Releases Holiday eRetail Satisfaction Index 2009

Customer Satisfaction with eRetail Rebounds – Sets New High for Online Holiday Shopping

ANN ARBOR, MI, DECEMBER 30, 2009 —

Customers of the largest online retailers are more satisfied than ever according to ForeSee Results’ annual report on holiday shoppers. The ForeSee Results E-Retail Satisfaction Index (U.S. Holiday Edition) surged 7 percent to 79 on the Index’s 100-point scale, a new all-time high.  Websites for Macys, SonyStyle, The Gap, The Home Shopping Network and Overstock.com had the greatest increases in satisfaction year over year, with all five registering increases of 10 percent or more.

“Even in this tough economic climate, e-retail continues to be the bright spot in a dark environment and last year’s declines are proving to be the anomaly,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results. “But those gains aren’t necessarily shared across the board.  These are the biggest retailers on the web, and they’ve got the ability to invest in the web channel and even meet the price points that consumers are looking for in this economy.  Smaller and midsized e-retailers may not be so lucky.”

Amazon scores 87 and leads the pack again, improving 4% since last year and setting a new high-water mark for the Index.  Eleven e-retailers scored over 80 (generally considered the threshold for excellence in studies using this methodology), and none scored below 70.  Several companies made huge jumps in score, and the most improved among them include Macys.com (+13% to 79), Gap.com (+10% to 76) and Overstock.com (+10% to 76).

The annual Top 40 E-Retail Satisfaction Index from ForeSee Results and FGI Research uses the patented methodology of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which was developed at the University of Michigan and is a proven predictor of consumer spending. The study quantifies that a highly satisfied online shopper is 65% more likely to purchase online, 44% more likely to purchase offline, 70% more likely to recommend, and 49% more likely to return than is a dissatisfied shopper.

The report includes an analysis of what website elements would have the most impact on overall satisfaction if improved.  For most companies, improving price (either actual prices or consumers’ perceptions of price) topped merchandise and functionality as a customer priority, though priorities differ from company to company.

“It’s no surprise that price is priority this year. It’s a reflection of these difficult economic times,” said Kevin Ertell, Vice President of Retail Strategy at ForeSee Results. “But simply cutting prices isn’t necessarily a business model for success,  so prioritizing website improvements that customers value most is an absolute necessity.”

Visit http://www.foreseeresults.com/Press_HolidayTop40US_Dec09.html to view the Annual Top 40 eRetail list.

About the ForeSee Results 2009 Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index (US)
The fifth annual holiday online satisfaction report is based on a survey of over 10,000 visitors to the top 40 e-retail websites according to sales revenue as reported by Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide. Survey responses were collected by FGI Research’s Smart Panel. The study measured satisfaction among shoppers who visited the site, regardless of whether or not they ultimately executed a purchase online, which provides insight into the performance of retail websites as research and purchase channels. ForeSee Results used the methodology of the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) to determine the scores. The ACSI is the national standard for customer satisfaction and has been proven to have a direct link with stock prices and other measures of financial performance.

About ForeSee Results
As the leader in online customer satisfaction measurement, ForeSee Results captures and analyzes online voice of customer data to help organizations increase sales, loyalty, recommendations and website value. Using the methodology of the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), ForeSee Results identifies the improvements to websites and other online initiatives with the greatest ROI. With over 40 million survey responses collected to date and benchmarks across dozens of industries, ForeSee Results offers unparalleled expertise in customer satisfaction measurement and management. ForeSee Results works with more than 110 retail clients in the United States alone. ForeSee Results, a privately held company, is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has offices in London and Vancouver. www.foreseeresults.com.