Online Shopper Satisfaction Down on Cyber Monday

ForeSee Results’ Holiday Benchmark Suggests Some E-Retailers Could Have Cause for Concern ANN ARBOR, Mich. (December 2, 2009 AllPayNews) – Cyber Monday shoppers were less satisfied this year than they were at the same time last year, according to ForeSee Results’ annual benchmark of satisfaction with online holiday shopping. The study collected responses from more than 350,000 people who shopped online at more than 110 retailers from November 24-30, 2009. ForeSee Results measures online customer satisfaction using the methodology of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) which predicts purchase intent (both online and offline) as well as loyalty and recommendations. Because of the ACSI’s scientifically proven predictive abilities, for many online retailers, satisfaction is the best measure of future success and can be a crucial bellwether. ForeSee Results has been releasing a weekly online satisfaction benchmark for four years in a row, and Cyber Monday 2009 was the lowest level of holiday satisfaction seen thus far. On the ACSI’s 100-point scale, satisfaction on Cyber Monday this year was 73.1, down nearly 4% from satisfaction levels on Cyber Monday of 2008 and down 5% from the highest level of satisfaction in 2007. In addition, satisfaction over the holiday weekend (Black Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) was down nearly 3% year-over-year.
Shopper Satisfaction with E-Retail 
  2006 2007 2008 2009 
Thanksgiving Weekend (Friday to Sunday) 76.3 77.1 75.5 73.2 
Cyber Monday 75.6 76.6 75.9 73.1 
ForeSee Results measures several key elements of online satisfaction including things like navigation, price, merchandise, product browsing, site performance, etc. Though priorities for improvement will differ greatly from site to site, scores for all of these elements were down this year. “Perhaps most troubling is what we see when we look at future behaviors,” said Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee Results. “The ACSI methodology is able to quantify how the online shopping experience contributes to likely future purchases, both online and offline. Our data shows that shoppers are less likely to purchase online and offline this year than in any other year we’ve measured, which could indicate that the rosy year-over-year revenue numbers we’ve seen so far may not keep up through the holiday season. While we should see a modest increase in online sales overall this year, it will be the retailers who are satisfying customers online who will reap the true rewards.”

Likelihood to Purchase ONLINE in the Future 
  2006 2007 2008 2009 
Thanksgiving Weekend (Friday to Sunday) 74.3 75.7 72.8 68.4 
Cyber Monday 73.7 76.2 74.2 68.9 





Likelihood to Purchase OFFLINE in the Future 
  2006 2007 2008 2009 
Thanksgiving Weekend (Friday to Sunday) 77.2 80.2 77.2 72.7 
Cyber Monday 77.0 80.0 77.6 72.6 
However, there was a real bright spot among ForeSee Results’ findings. Although shopper satisfaction overall was down, buyer satisfaction on Cyber Monday was at its highest levels in the four years that ForeSee Results has measured it, meaning that those who actually purchased online on Cyber Monday were happier than they’ve ever been, though still less likely to purchase online than they have been in previous years.
BUYER Satisfaction with E-Retail 
  2006 2007 2008 2009 
Thanksgiving Weekend (Friday to Sunday) 85.0 81.0 82.3 82.0 
Cyber Monday 82.2 82.3 82.3 83.1 
“The increasing gap between buyer satisfaction and browser or non-buyer satisfaction is concerning,” said Kevin Ertell, ForeSee Results Vice President of Retail Strategy. “Browsers are a much larger part of the population, and their declining satisfaction could prove to be a major obstacle to the opportunity for growth.” ForeSee Results’ extensive data analysis shows that on e-retail websites with superior satisfaction scores (over 80 on the study’s 100-point scale), customers are significantly more likely to purchase online and offline than are visitors to sites with subpar customer satisfaction (below 70). “In a down economy, successful retailers have more to gain,” added Freed. “The e-retailers who are doing well now and satisfying customers will be the best positioned to capture available market share when other retailers fail to meet customers’ increasingly high standards and expectations.” METHODOLOGY The Cyber Monday survey, the first in a series of ForeSee Results’ weekly holiday benchmarks, was done using the methodology of the American Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which was developed at the University of Michigan and has been proven to be predictive of future sales (online and offline), word of mouth, and financial performance. Data was collected from more than 350,000 visitors to more than 110 top online retail websites between 350,000 people who shopped online at more than 110 retailer websites from November 24-30, 2009, including Ace Hardware, Belk, Best Buy, Borders, Chef’s Catalog, Chicos, Danskin, Eastern Mountain Sports, Finish Line, Helzberg Diamonds, Godiva, Guess, Kodak Easy Share Gallery, Lego, Newegg.com, NFL, Sephora, StubHub, and UnderArmour to name a few. For more information on the results of the 2009 Cyber Monday Survey or to get on the mailing list to receive the weekly ForeSee Results benchmark through the holiday, please contact Chaat Butsunturn ( 415-391-7900 415-391-7900, x114; cbutsunturn@kearnswest.com) or Courtney Jenkins ( 202-821-2120 202-821-2120; cjenkins@kearnswest.com). About ForeSee Results As the leader in online customer satisfaction measurement, ForeSee Results captures and analyzes online voice of customer data to help organizations increase sales, loyalty, recommendations and website value. Using the methodology of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), ForeSee Results identifies the improvements to websites and other online initiatives with the greatest ROI. With over 40 million survey responses collected to date and benchmarks across dozens of industries, ForeSee Results offers unparalleled expertise in customer satisfaction measurement and management. ForeSee Results works with clients across industries, including: retail, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing and government. ForeSee Results, a privately held company, is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan and on the web at www.ForeSeeResults.com.