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Walmart beats Target in online shopping satisfaction

Online shoppers prefer Walmart to Target.

That's one of the findings of an index released today that scores the top 100 online retailers on customer satisfaction.

ForeSee's Top 100 E-Retail Satisfaction Index based its analysis on nearly 21,000 surveys of online shoppers in the first quarter of 2012.

The scores, calculated on a 100-point scale, range from a high of 89 for Amazon to a low of 69 for and The top six, all with scores of 83 or higher, were Amazon, Apple, QVC, Keurig, Avon and L.L. Bean. Thirty six websites had scores at or above 80, a jump from 2005, when the index started and only four websites scored 80 or higher.

Some retailers that improved the most since the index began included Home Depot, Costco, Kohl's, Scholastic and Macy's. Within categories, Walmart (82) edged out Target (79), Walgreens (81) beat CVS (79) and Home Depot (79) beat Lowes (77).

Here are some of the key findings from the executive summary:

"-Overall satisfaction scores with the top e-retailers is stable. In 2010, there was an increase in customer satisfaction from 2009 when the average score jumped from 73 (its lowest point) to a record high of 78 as e-retailers rebounded from the sluggish economy. They haven't budged since, and overall satisfaction remains at 78.

-Amazon continues to set the standard for e-retailers. After grabbing the top spot from Netflix last year, Amazon (89) remains the leader of the pack, improving three points from 2011's score of 86. Amazon's score sets a record as the highest score ever attained by a retailer measured in this Index.

- After slipping to an all-time low (79) during the holiday season, Netflix regained some footing to score an 81. It still has a lot of work to do in order to return to its former glory and list-leading score of 87 from two years ago.

-Customer satisfaction matters: Compared to dissatisfied site visitors, satisfied visitors say they are 72% more likely to purchase online, 56% more likely to purchase offline, 67% more likely to purchase from that retailer next time they're in the market for a similar product (a good proxy for loyalty), and 69% more likely to recommend the retailer to someone else."

The report issues a warning to any retailer scoring significantly below 78, saying those who do risk "loyalty, recommendations, sales, and market share to competitors who score higher,"

Where's your favorite (and least favorite)  online spot to shop?

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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