December 31, 2008, 1:43 PM — Were you satisfied with your holiday shopping experience? That's the question that researcher ForeSee Results asked more than 9,000 holiday shoppers to find which retailers provide the most satisfying shopping. Retailers were graded on a 1-100 scale with 100 the most satisfied. In the results, those who shopped online gave their experience an average satisfaction rating of 90, while offline retail shopping received an average rating of 72. I guess even holiday shipping delays are preferable to the mad, chaotic rush of retail shopping on black Friday.
ForeSee Results also identifies the top 40 ranked retailers this holiday season, with Amazon.com and Netflix leading the pack with tied ratings of 84. Some other big successes were Walmart, Staples, Hewlet Packard, and Target, which saw the greatest increases in customer satisfaction from last year. Overall, the top 5 retailers for customer satisfaction were Amazon.com, Netflix, QVC.com, Apple, and Barnes and Noble.
But all is not good news, as 15 of the top 40 retailers had declining customer satisfaction from last year. Some of those retailers which dropped were among the top 5, with Netflix, QVC.com, and Apple all losing ground this year over last year's customer satisfaction ratings. The biggest drops, though, were experienced by Circuit City, the Gap, and the Home Shopping Network, which tied for last place with retailers Overstock.com, Home Depot, and Neiman Marcus, all with a rating of 69.
With the economy in poor shape, customer satisfaction is an important factor. The research notes that satisfied customers are 65 percent more likely to buy from the same retailer, which suggests a shift to online shopping overtaking brick-and-mortar retail experience. I know that I did a majority of my own holiday shopping online, as did most of my friends and relatives. And based on these satisfaction results, it doesn't look like that trend will change.