Web Retailers Keep Holiday Shoppers Merry

    December 12, 2007

Holiday shoppers report higher satisfaction with the online shopping experience this week compared to both last week and last year, according to the ForeSee Results Holiday Retail Benchmark.

Online shopper satisfaction increased 1.7 percent to 77.6 on a 100-point scale for the week between December 3 and December 9, 3.3 percent higher than satisfaction for the same week in 2006.

"Customer satisfaction has rebounded to pre-holiday levels, a very encouraging trend for the 2007 holiday shopping season," said Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee Results.

"The combination of retailer readiness for the holiday rush and positive reaction to promotions has resulted in robust satisfaction, which should spell strong results for the holiday season and beyond."

High levels of online shopping satisfaction are leading to the likelihood of purchases being made both online and offline channels, such as in a store or from a catalog. This year online shoppers are 4.6 percent more likely to make a future online purchase and 4.1 percent more likely to make an offline purchase than they were during the same week in 2006.

"The web this year has truly come into its own as an integral channel to drive sales beyond the virtual world," said Freed.

"Retailers have successfully integrated the web into their multi-channel strategy so that it’s a better sales channel and a better tool for increasing store and catalog sales."

Many shoppers who leave a Web site without making a purchase after adding items to their shopping carts plan to make an offline purchase with the retailer.  Compared to last year, shoppers who drop out of the online shopping process are 8 percent more likely to buy offline from the retailer, meaning a sale will still be made.

 The ForeSee Results Holiday Retail Benchmark is produced using the methodology of the University of Michigan’s American customer satisfaction Index (ACSI), a proven predictor of future sales (online and offline), word of mouth recommendation and financial performance. Data for this week’s release of the ForeSee Results Holiday Retail Benchmark was collected between December 3 and December 9 from more than 54,000 visitors to 40+ retail websites, including AT&T Wireless; Best Buy; Cabela’s; Danskin; Helzberg Diamonds; Panasonic; Sephora and Toys R Us, among other major retailers.