Although the recession could be seen as an opportunity for online retailers to take market share away from their weakened "brick and mortar" rivals, a new report suggests many of them might be missing out on this opening. According to ForeSee Results' annual Online Retail Satisfaction Index, consumers are losing their enthusiasm for Internet shopping, with overall satisfaction levels dropping almost 3 percent from last year to an aggregate score of 73 on a 100-point scale.
The research employs the methodology of the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and is based on surveys of over 22,000 visitors to the top 100 e-retail websites by sales volume. Of these top 100 sites, scores for 55 of them dropped year-over-year while only 16 increased. Online retail giants Netflix, which scored 85, and Amazon, at 84, maintained their top spots for the fifth year in a row.
On the computer and electronics front, websites weighed in with an average overall score of 74. Newegg.com and TigerDirect.com led this category with the highest satisfaction scores at 81 and 79 respectively - both up one point compared to last year. On the other hand Apple.com, a "perennial customer satisfaction favorite," slipped five points to 75 and is now trailing Dell.com and HPShopping.com.
Not surprisingly, one major factor in Apple's decline is that consumers are more price-sensitive than in previous years. The stakes are pretty high, too. To put these figures into perspective, ForeSee claims that a single point increase in online satisfaction translates to a 9 percent increase in revenues.