Amazon and L.L. Bean tied for best in customer satisfaction during the holiday season, while Priceline.com came in last, an index released Tuesday showed.
The ForeSee Experience Index (FXI): 2013 U.S. Retail Edition measured overall and channel-specific satisfaction for the top 100 U.S. retailers. The analysis was based on data gathered Nov. 29 through Dec. 17.
In the store channel, Apple was edged to second place by Publix Super Markets, followed by Kroger, Nordstrom and Victoria’s Secret. Ross, Walmart and Toys R Us came in at the bottom.
Amazon led the way in online satisfaction, though vitacost.com, keurig.com and llbean.com are catching up. Basspro.com and crateandbarrel.com tied for most improved web sites.
The most satisfied shoppers interacted with a retailer across multiple channels, in stores, online and on mobile devices. Customers tended to rate their experience with a company overall, not just with a physical store or website.
"The data shows that customer loyalty for retailers is on the decline, yet consumers are satisfied with the top retail brands and had the best experience with retailers who mastered the multichannel experience," said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee, in an announcement of the results.
"While Amazon continues to reign supreme across multiple channels, several retailers have identified critical drivers for increased sales and have made great strides to improve the multichannel customer experience," he said.
Strong customer service is expected to be more crucial than ever to retailers' bottom lines, especially with online commerce growing nearly five times faster than retail overall.
ForeSee said its research shows that every one-point increase in satisfaction translates into more than 10 percent growth in online sales.
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