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Amazon.co.uk comes first in website satisfaction survey

The findings are announced today of the Foresee Christmas customer satisfaction Index across the UK's top 40 online retail websites during December.

The findings indicate a slight increase in satisfaction from Christmas 2010 to Christmas 2011: from 72 to 73 on the study’s 100-point scale (an increase of seven points since 2007, when ForeSee conducted its initial study). However, a one-point change still means a great deal in terms of revenue when it represents a change for a large group of retailers.

The data, taken during the prime Christmas shopping season, is the result of nearly 10,000 surveys responses collected from shoppers who had visited the top 40 online retail websites by traffic volume in the UK during November and December. The Index measures four high- level factors that affect overall customer satisfaction: functionality, price, merchandise, and content.

The Leaders:
Amazon.co.uk (85) scored highest this year, edging out last year’s top performer, Amazon.com, (82) to claim the top spot. Play.com (80) lost one point and now ties for second place with JohnLewis.com, which is up two points on last year and an impressive 11 points from 2007. Apple.com also performed well (up three points to 78) and enters the top five this year.

The Most Improved:
This year’s largest increase (five points) was TheTrainLine.com (scoring 74). Currys.com, an e-retailer that has experienced score increases on this Index every year since 2008, was up four points this year to 73 points. Apple.com and RyanAir.com were each up three points (scoring 78 and 64 respectively).

The Satisfaction Gap:
Currently, there is a notable 24-point gap between the highest-scoring e-retailer (Amazon.co.uk, 85) and the lowest (London2012.com, 61). Comparing the largest online retailers (in terms of traffic, as ranked by IMRG) to the rest of the group, we see that eight of the 10 largest retailers are also in the top 10 in terms of satisfaction.

Satisfaction Predicts Future Behaviours:
A highly satisfied UK shopper reports being 62% more likely to buy from that retailer online and 64% more likely to recommend the retailer to others, , as well as being far more likely to return to the site, and be loyal to the brand.

Comparison to Direct Competitors:
All retailers in the Index are classified according to product category, which allows individual companies to check their own performance against those of companies selling the same products or services.

Mass merchants:
For the 16 e-retailers in this category, the average score was 75 – the same score as 2010. Top scoring mass merchants include Amazon.co.uk (85), Amazon.com (82), Play.com (80), and JohnLewis.com (80). The lowest scorer in this category was Halfords with a score of 70.

Hardware/Home Improvement:
Out of the two e-retailers measured, Homebase (69) edges out B&Q ( 67) by two points, as it has for three straight years.

Larry Freed, CEO at ForeSee commented: “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, strengthen relationships with existing ones and make a significant difference to their bottom line.”

“Our research shows just how important the impact of the online shopping channel is on overall business. One of the best ways to increase that impact is by improving customer satisfaction which results in increased sales, loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth recommendations. We hope to show that understanding customer needs and expectations is critical for retailers to continue to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive and winner-takes-all business environment".

Source : The Retail Bulletin
www.retailbulletin.com

21 December 2011
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