ANN ARBOR, Mich., Nov. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Customer experience analytics firm ForeSee today released its annual analysis of Cyber Monday customer satisfaction suggesting that some online shoppers may not be as satisfied with the holiday shopping season as retailers likely are.
Comscore reports that compared to last year, online commerce was up 26% on Black Friday and 22% on Cyber Monday, and the National Retail Federation is reporting that sales over the four-day holiday weekend increased 16% over last year.
But while sales are up, website browser satisfaction is down. A browser is defined as anyone shopping on a retail website, whether or not they completed a purchase. Browser satisfaction this Cyber Monday (72.7 on the study's 100-point scale) is lower this year than it was over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (73.3), lower than it was last year on Cyber Monday (73.1), and notably lower than it was on Cyber Monday in 2008 (75.9). In fact, satisfaction with online shopping over the holiday weekend and on Cyber Monday is at its lowest point in five years (the largest dip occurred between 2008 and 2009, and satisfaction has failed to rebound).
"So far, we know that the holiday season has been a success for the retailers in terms of sales, but that is clearly not the whole picture," said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee. "Our research tells us that buyers are generally as satisfied this year as they were last year, but that browsers overall are somewhat less satisfied this year because more shoppers couldn't find what they were looking for, experienced site performance issues, or were dissatisfied with prices."
Potential customers are extremely important during the holiday season because they represent not only current revenue but tremendous future potential for revenue and loyalty.
ForeSee uses a proprietary methodology that measures the customer experience and predicts how that experience impacts future sales, loyalty, and recommendations. ForeSee is also able to tell organizations which elements of the experience (merchandise, website navigation, prices, etc.) have the biggest impact on satisfaction with the customer experience, and therefore on sales and profitability. While today's benchmark is focused on the web channel, ForeSee measures all critical customer touch-points, including stores, contact centers, mobile apps, social media interactions, and more.
The ForeSee retail benchmark is made up of 159 individual websites, ranging from Fortune 100 retailers to smaller, regional retailers. Among the retail websites included in the benchmark are retailers like Ace Hardware, Bass Pro Shops, Belk, Cabela's, Chef's Catalog, Eddie Bauer, eBags, Gamefly, Harry and David, Helzberg Diamonds, Home Depot, LEGO, Musician's Friend, Panasonic, Samsung, Sears, Sephora, Sony, and StubHub.
ForeSee has been releasing a weekly online satisfaction benchmark during the holiday shopping season for six years. ForeSee collected nearly half a million satisfaction surveys from people who shopped on retail websites in November 2011. The data reported here also represents more than 60,000 surveys collected on Thanksgiving weekend, and more than 30,000 retail survey responses from Cyber Monday alone.
"In a struggling economy, it's a zero-sum game where successful retailers have more to gain at the expense of retailers who don't satisfy their customers," said Freed. "The e-retailers who are doing well now and satisfying customers will be in the best position to capture market share from retailers that fail to meet customers' increasingly high standards and expectations."
As a pioneer in customer experience analytics, ForeSee continuously measures satisfaction across customer touch points and delivers critical insights on where to prioritize improvements for maximum impact. Because ForeSee's superior technology and proven methodology connect the customer experience to the bottom line, executives and managers are able to drive future success by confidently optimizing the efforts that will achieve business and brand objectives. The result is better business for companies and a better experience for consumers. Visit www.foresee.com for customer experience solutions and original research.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Sarah Allen-Short, 734-327-3852