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QVC ties with Amazon in online customer satisfaction


Ann Arbor, Mich. - Watch out Amazon, QVC is at your back—at least when it comes to customer satisfaction.

An annual study by Answers Corp. finds that the online giant has slipped from a score of 88 (posted from 2011 to 2013) to 83, tying with QVC for the highest score among the top 100 e-commerce sites measured. The report, The AnswersTM Experience Index (AXI): 2014 U.S. Retail Edition (formerly called the ForeSee Experience Index), partly attributes Amazon’s drop to scoring much lower on customers’ assessments of Amazon’s price competitiveness. QVC held steady year over year to gain a share of the top ranking. They were closely followed by a cluster of strong brands who scored 82: Avon, L.L. Bean and Netflix. Notably absent from the top is Apple, which dipped two points to 80 in this year’s customer satisfaction.

The Amazon mobile experience also suffered. Last year Amazon was five points ahead of any other mobile website or application. In 2014, Amazon scored 83, a mere one point above Fanatics and L.L. Bean in mobile website and application satisfaction, followed by Newegg, QVC and Sony Store Online at 82. (Customer satisfaction in the study is scored on a 100-point scale; 80 is generally considered the threshold for excellence at which an organization meets and exceeds customer expectations.

“This year’s AXI data demonstrates the difficulty of staying ahead in an increasingly complex multichannel shopping world,” said said Jim Yang, senior VP of products, marketing and services for Answers Cloud Services. “It’s not that Amazon is no longer exceptional, because it clearly is. Rather, Amazon’s inability to deliver adequately against its customers’ expectations, particularly when it comes to product pricing, has opened the door for other retail brands this year. In the face of savvier consumers, retailers have to take a more disciplined approach to monitoring and improving customer satisfaction or else find themselves struggling to remain relevant.”

On the physical store side, Barnes & Noble surpassed Apple to take the top spot in customer satisfaction with a score of 83. Apple and Saks Fifth Avenue follow at 82, and Advance Auto Parts and Ann Taylor round out the top five with an 81. Walmart takes last place with a 71, declining from last year’s score of 73.

The study finds that the shopper experience in retail chain stores fail to impress, dropping a point to 78 in 2014. The methodology shows that the most important investment priority for retail chain stores is to improve their merchandise (appeal, variety and availability of product) as 72% of the retailers measured had merchandise as the most powerful satisfaction driver for their consumers. Another top priority for many retailers is the service quality from store personnel.

In other results:

- More than 60% of shoppers said they will not use a mobile payment service like Google Wallet or Apple Pay to purchase items in a store. The 40% who said they might use such a service were twice as likely to choose Google over Apple.

- Multichannel shoppers are not just more active shoppers; they’re generally more satisfied (81) than single-channel (77) ones, making them ultimately more valuable to retailers.
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