While the retail industry has been hyperfocused on pricing, the retailers who have continued to focus on customer satisfaction, like Amazon and Apple, have emerged as the winners in a losing holiday season.
The link between customer satisfaction and sales is
not breaking news. The confirmation that overall
customer satisfaction still matters in a price-conscious economy is definitely headline worthy.
According to the "2008 Holiday Top 40 Online Retail
Satisfaction Index" report from Foresee Results, the
most satisfied customers still spend more, make more
repeat purchases, and make recommendations to friends.
Proving that theory, Amazon.com reported its best
holiday season ever, with a 44% increase in units
shipped, a 7% increase in web visitors, and 6.3
million items ordered in a single day.
Coincidentally, or not, Amazon.com also had the
highest customer satisfaction scores in the first half
When rating Amazon based on the
merchandise available, the functionality of the
website, the product information and descriptions, and
the prices charged, Amazon customers awarded a score
of 84 out of a possible 100. Amazon shoppers were
happy with Amazon experience, and they made Amazon
purchases in record numbers.
Some will argue that Amazon's 2008 holiday season success was
really only motivated by price, but the numbers from
liquidation e-tailer Overstock.com refute that