Study: Consumers very satisfied with top e-tailers

The following study appears courtesy of National Jeweler Network

National Jeweler logo: property of National Jeweler

Ann Arbor, Mich.–Consumer satisfaction with the nation’s top online retailers, including online diamond giant Blue Nile, is at an all-time high, a new survey shows.

According to the annual “Top 100 Online Retail Satisfaction Index” from Ann Arbor, Mich.-based ForeSee Results, which analyzes online customer data, satisfaction with e-tailers rebounded from 73 points out of 100 at this time last year to 78, an all-time high score for the survey. Online movie rental service Netflix.com topped the survey with a score of 78, and no e-tailer scored below a 70 for the first time in the study’s six-year history.

The research is based on surveys of more than 23,000 visitors to the top 100 retail Web sites by sales volume as reported in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide for 2010. Each single-point increase in consumer satisfaction results in an average income increase of $89 million in year-over-year online sales.

Larry Freed, president and Chief Executive Officer of ForeSee Results, said in a news release that the economy really forced Internet retailers to step up their game.

“Since so much of the financial downturn was out of their control, companies turned to those things they could improve and now they are reaping the benefits,” Freed said in a release announcing the results. “Customer satisfaction is not a byproduct of a healthy economy. Instead, a healthy economy is a consequence of satisfied customers.”

The lone jewelry-only Web site included in the index was Blue Nile, which registered a satisfaction rating of 74 out of 100, up from last year when the Web site scored a 69, the study shows.

Five other retail Web sites–FTD.com, NutriSystem.com, Rhapsody.com, Safeway.com and UrbanOutfitters.com–tied Blue Nile with a score of 74 out of 100. The study shows that only nine Web sites out of the 100 evaluated scored lower than a 74.

In the mass merchants category, which includes retailers that sell fine jewelry along with other products, Amazon.com was tops when it came to customer satisfaction with a score of 86 out of 100. The e-tailer placed second overall, bested only by Netflix.com.

Following Amazon.com in the mass merchants category was QVC.com, with a score of 82 out of 100 and HSN.com, JCP.com, Kohls.com and Walmart.com, each with a satisfaction score of 80.

Overall, the satisfaction score for the mass merchants category was 78 points out of 100, up 5 percent from last year, the study shows. The product category with the highest overall satisfaction score was books/CDs/DVDs, with 79 points out of 100.

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