E-commerce continues to be one of the highest-scoring sectors in all of American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). And as e-commerce in the United States continues to increase exponentially every year so does the competition between companies trying to capture their share of the market. And this is great for the consumer as competition often results in better prices, more innovation, and higher customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction with the e-commerce sector climbs again in 2012, scoring 81.1 on ACSI’s 100-point scale from 80.1 in 2011. The e-commerce measure is comprised of three online categories: retail, brokerage, and travel. The full and free report includes scores for the largest companies by market share in these categories.
The report discusses the following findings in more detail:
- Satisfaction with the e-retail category overall is up one point for the second consecutive year and is at 82. Despite another 1-point drop in score, Amazon remains the leading online retailer at 85. But the industry is catching up with Amazon, as the “All Others” category gains 3% to 82, pushing the industry aggregate higher.
What we’re seeing is that brick-and-mortar retailers are not conceding the Internet to online natives such as Amazon. They are investing heavily resources in delivering a better experience for their customers, providing more evidence that competition is good for the consumer.
- After a two-point decline last year, satisfaction with online brokerage overall is up two points to 78 despite drops among all of the top companies. This category’s saving grace was the 4% increase of the “All Others” segment from a 75 to a 78.
All the household names in online brokerage are down. However, we see yet another category that increased on the back of the “All Others” category, which is made up of both traditional financial institutions and smaller e-brokerages. It just goes to show you that industry leaders cannot (and should not) rest on their laurels just because they are well established. Traditional firms have the resources to invest in improving the customer experience and probably should. At the same time, newer and smaller players are demonstrating that they are nimble enough to keep pace with constantly changing customer expectations.
- Satisfaction with online travel (76) dropped two points from last year. Orbitz was the only travel company that didn’t lose any ground in 2012 and remains unchanged at 76.
Company leaders in the online travel category should really look at mobile as being the single most influential force to move the industry forward since it has the most potential to improve the experience for the traveling consumer. It won’t be met without some turbulence in the marketplace, though, as we are seeing hotels and airlines attempting to assert more control over their relationships with their customers, fragmenting the online experience and doing more harm than good in the short term.