Netflix, Amazon Top E-tailer Customer Happiness; CompUSA, OfficeMax Dominate Customer Sadness

U.S. consumers are roughly just as satisfied—or unsatisfied—with 2007 online merchants as they were in 2006, according to the latest E-Commerce customer satisfaction survey from ForeSeeResults.

Also roughly the same was the sequencing of the top—and bottom—players, with Netflix, Amazon, QVC, L.L. Bean and Apple faring the best and OfficeMax, CompUSA, SonyStyle, Overstock and grabbing the worst slots. Taking the most improved awards were Costco, Avon and Zappos.

For the weak performers, the report said, CompUSA and OfficeMax both suffered from pricetag issues.

"Customers are least satisfied with the price element for both of these retailers," said ForeSee CEO Larry Freed. "Especially in the current tough retail climate, customer satisfaction laggards will need to do more to meet and exceed customers' needs or risk further erosion of satisfaction, loyalty, and eventually, market share."

For the record, the report allowed that there is the possibility that some retailers fared even worse than CompUSA and OfficeMax because three retailers—Quixtar, CDW and PC Connection—"do not have posted satisfaction scores for 2007 due to insufficient respondent data."

In the most improved category, the report said the changes were likely brought about through various, unrelated issues.

"With a customer satisfaction score increase of 4.3 percent from last year to a score of 72, Costco is most improved this year from the perspective of online holiday shoppers," the report said. "This increase was a result of improved satisfaction with all elements driving satisfaction, especially price. Even so, a score of 72 places Costco in the bottom half of the Top 40 Index."

Zappos increased by 4 percent "driven in large part by satisfaction with the brand. Customers are 3.9 percent more satisfied with Avon Products' website this year than in 2006," the report said. "Avon's increase to a score of 79 was a result of improved satisfaction across all elements, led by satis¬faction increases with site experience, brand and price."