A survey of customer satisfaction with top retail Web sites during the holiday season is shedding light on which online retailers will thrive in 2009 and which could be facing an uphill battle.
DrsFosterSmith.com, the online portal for pet supply retailer Doctors Foster and Smith, understands customer service and has the proof to make such a claim.
Last month, research firm ForeSee Results announced the outcome of its Spring 2008 Top 100 Online Retail Satisfaction Index. Moving up from a fifth-place overall finish in the last rankings to No. 4 in the most recent release is the e-commerce site for Doctors Foster and Smith, the Rhinelander, Wisc.-based multichannel marketer of pet supplies and pharmaceuticals. The firm’s site also took top honors in the Specialty/Nonapparel subcategory. Target Marketing Tipline called on Gordon Magee, Doctors Foster and Smith’s Internet marketing and analysis manager, to learn some of his company’s tricks of the trade for improving the online shopping experience for customers. Target Marketing:
As the playing field levels for online retailers in terms of basic transactional capabilities—e.g., fast checkout processes, accurate shipping calculators, e-mail order confirmations—how can we increase sales and build competitive advantage in the years ahead?
It seems as though e-commerce firms finally are listening to their customers and offering better customer service, at least according to results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, released this week by the University of Michigan with e-commerce partner ForeSee Results.
What drives shoppers to your Web site? Is it an e-mail they just received announcing a sale or free shipping? Were they pointed there by a search engine? Did they find the site through word of mouth? Based on research collected and compiled by ForeSee Results over the 2006 holiday shopping season, the methods that drive the most first-time visitors don’t necessarily drive the highest quality shoppers • Promotional e-mails work. One-quarter of online holiday shoppers went to a site because they received a promotional e-mail from the retailer. This group had a strong satisfaction score of 76 on the
ForeSee Results’ recent study of major retail Web sites, The Top 40 Online Retail Satisfaction Index, found that free shipping without restrictions significantly impacts customer satisfaction and loyalty. The study also determined that free shipping is an effective way to convert first-time buyers. But restrictions on free shipping actually can endanger long-term loyalty. Forty-one percent of the more than 10,000 survey respondents cited free shipping as the primary factor in their holiday purchase decision-making. Seventy-nine percent went so far as to say it influenced them to choose one retail site over another. Among the key findings: • Free shipping without restrictions is a powerful tool for