E-Retail Insiders Rate Industry Mediocre Despite Improvements

Friday 30 July 2004 13:53 CET | News

E-retail may be a hit with consumers, but industry insiders themselves find the online shopping experience to be only mediocre despite three years of steady improvements, according to a new survey.

The findings come from the third annual e-retail insiders survey by ForeSee Results and Internet Retailer. Overall insider satisfaction stands at just 65 on the 100-point scale used to score the findings. The score was 63 last year and 59 the year before that, a 12 percent improvement over the past 3 years. Each year, the survey is conducted asking insiders to evaluate the quality of their own online shopping experiences. Scores are calculated using the University of Michigans American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) technology, which is the basis of a quarterly index that measures goods and services economy-wide. ACSI scores reflect user evaluation of key website features and functions, weighted according to what most impacts users future behaviors. Further evolution of web shopping faces some obstacles, the survey also reveals since fewer e-retailers find their web research tools to be actionable. Figuring out the right priorities for site development is their biggest challenge, and although customer satisfaction continues to rate as a top priority among 94% of the e-retailers surveyed, they are increasingly turning to crude and ineffective feedback loops like complaint calls to flesh out the customer perspective. Analysis shows that the areas that most impact insiders overall satisfaction has stayed fairly constant in each of the annual surveys--image, which is how much a user trusts and feels valued by a site; product browsing capability, including search; and functionality. Scores have steadily increased in each of these areas over the years, but insiders feel that even more improvement is needed and they remain the highest-impact items. Image has improved most over the three years, from 58 to 65. Product browsing has improved five points over the past three years, up to 67 this time. The category includes search, product selection and ability to browse products. Functionality has increased by only three points over the years, but has the highest score of the three at 69. Navigation has emerged as a component to watch. With a poor and static score of 59, its impact on overall satisfaction has quadrupled since last years survey. The single largest challenge e-retailers face is prioritizing site improvements, according to the surveys findings, mentioned by 41 percent of respondents. The survey also found a decreased faith in their web research tools to provide actionable insights for setting priorities, with 26 percent giving their web research tools a failing grade (up 5 percent over the 2003 survey).

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
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Payments & Commerce