Few Top Holiday E-Tailers Sell Food

Articles
January 04, 2011

Few Top Holiday E-Tailers Sell Food

Don't look for grocery operators on the Holiday Top 40 Online Retail Satisfaction Index. You won't find any on this list

Don’t look for grocery operators on the Holiday Top 40 Online Retail Satisfaction Index. You won’t find any on this list of the 40 largest online retailers by revenue, which measures how well they satisfied shoppers from Thanksgiving to the last day of free shipping for Christmas in 2010.

The list does include majors that sell food, such as Amazon (#1 in customer satisfaction), Walmart (#11), Costco (#13) and Target (#25), and related sites that sell cookware, such as QVC (#3) and Williams-Sonoma (#12). But there isn’t a pure food chain on the list. This strikes us as ironic at The Lempert Report, since food is an omnipresent staple in brick-and-mortar stores across the United States, and since the gifting of food for the holidays has risen since the recession burst the economy.

This is the sixth straight year that Foresee Results has used the methodology of the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index to track the nation’s degree of pleasure with online sellers that serve their needs during the holiday season.  Nearly 10,000 surveys yielded this finding of a sudden reversal in customer satisfaction:  Following a huge five-point increase to 79 between 2008 and 2009, the Index slipped back by point to 78 in this most recent survey – largely due to weaker scores at some computer and electronics e-tailers and mass merchants, says ForeSee.

Because retailers/e-tailers have their greatest exposure to the broadest spectrum of consumers, and because customer satisfaction is predictive of success, the study helps merchants determine “what they need to do to drive sales well into the next year,” notes Kevin Ertell, vice president-retail strategy at ForeSee. Website visitors that are well-satisfied say they are 60% more committed to the brand overall, 61% likelier purchase from the retailer online, 35% likelier to purchase from the retailer offline, and 64% likelier to recommend the retailer than are dissatisfied visitors, ForeSee added.

Among the sites tracked that sell food:

  • Amazon posted an 86 rating, down one point from Holiday 2009, but still four points above Holiday 2005, the first year of measurement.
  • Walmart posted an 80 rating, up one point from Holiday 2009, and seven points above Holiday 2005.
  • Costco posted a 79 rating, the same as Holiday 2009, and ten points above Holiday 2005.
  • Target posted a 77 rating, down one point from Holiday 2009, but still seven points above Holiday 2005.