It's no surprise that customer satisfaction with Amazon.com (AMZN) is high. It's also no surprise that when asked to score the largest online Internet retail shopping websites, customers gave the highest marks to Amazon.com based on their Internet shopping experiences during the 2011 holiday shopping season.
There were very few surprises in the annual 2011 Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index published by research firm Foresee. Besides Amazon, the Internet shopping websites of jcpenney (JCP), Apple (AAPL), Barnes and Noble (BKS) and Victoria's Secret ranked high. These companies have a good reputation for customer relationships to begin with, and they've just extended their customer satisfaction acumen to a virtual platform.
Of course for every "best" ranking, there are corresponding "worst" rankings. According to the Internet shopping customers surveyed, Target (TGT), Blockbuster (BBI), Sears (SHLD), and The Gap (GPS) provided the worst online retail customer dissatisfaction during the 2011 holiday shopping season. Not surprisingly, these "worst" Internet retailers have also had a fair bit of trouble with customer satisfaction in their physical store as well in 2011.
The exception to the expected worst rankings is Target, which is generally known for having good customer relationships. Targets website challenges in 2011 were mostly functional, or more accurately, dysfunctional. When blockbuster marketing results drove more traffic to the Target.com website than it could handle, highly publicized complete crashes of its retail website occurred.
The first full site Target.com crash actually created a "Wow!" response. The second crash created more of a "Huh?" response. And subsequent website dysfunctions drew more of a "Grrrr" response from customers. The second-to-last reputation that an Internet shopping website wants to get is "unstable" (which is just slightly better than the reputation of "untrustworthy"). So it seems fairly obvious that stability is priority #1 for the Target e-commerce team in 2012.
To see the best of the best and the worst of the worst rankings for Internet shopping websites, click here. To BE the best of the best of Internet shopping websites (or at least not among the worst of the worst), read the full Foresee Customer Satisfaction Index report here.