Ann Arbor, Mich. - Customer satisfaction with e-commerce sites was up this holiday season compared with last year, with Amazon.com ranking highest among the 40 largest e-tailers.
Indeed, the e-tail pioneer earned the highest score ever recorded by ForeSee Results, which compiles the annual holiday satisfaction report based on a survey of 10,000 visitors.
Amazon's score rose 3.6 percent over last year to an 87 on the research firm's 100-point scale, followed within the CE sector by Apple at 82, Newegg at 81 and Systemax at 80, while Dell, Costco.com and Walmart.com all tied at 79.
Among other CE leaders, BestBuy.com and SonyStyle.com tied at 77, although Sony's direct-sell site showed the greatest improvement within the CE sector with a 10 percent increase year over year.
CircuitCity.com was the lowest scoring CE site, with a 73, although customer satisfaction with the Systemax-owned property rose nearly 6 percent from last year, when it was under previous management.
Together the Top 40 e-tailers (by sales revenue) on the ForeSee index earned a record aggregate score of 79, up 7 percent from last year. Nine of the sites scored over 80 (considered the threshold of excellence), and none scored below 70 (where e-tailers risk losing sales and market share if improvements are not made).
"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 ForeSee Results' president/CEO Larry Freed.
Kevin Ertell, ForeSee's retail strategy VP, added that simply cutting prices, which was a priority this year, "isn't necessarily a business model for success, so prioritizing Web site improvements that customers value most is an absolute necessity."
The e-tail index scores are determined using the methodology of the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a national standard for customer satisfaction that has been shown to have a direct link to stock prices and other measures of financial performance, ForeSee said.