Retail Stores Post Gains in Customer Satisfaction; Online Shoppers Less Satisfied
According to a report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, brick and mortar stores have significantly improved in customer satisfaction in the last year. Online retailers, on the other hand, saw a decline to the lowest level in 12 years.
More customers chose to shop online than in retail stores, but customer satisfaction saw better growth in traditional stores.
“A spate of last-minute holiday purchases online, combined with inclement weather, left some buyers disgruntled by delayed shipments,” said ACSI Chairman Claes Fornell. “That’s the likely reason for Internet retail getting its lowest customer satisfaction benchmark in more than a decade.”
Retail stores gained 1.7% on the ACSI scale, reaching a benchmark of 77.9. Higher customer satisfaction was found with specialty retail stores, supermarkets, drug stores and gasoline service stations. Specialty stores, like office supply stores and home improvement centers, did better on the survey than general stores.
Online stores dropped 4.9% to a benchmark of 78, the lowest score since 2001.
Despite the drop in customer service satisfaction online, consumers are still drawn in by the convenience of online shopping.
“Diminished foot traffic at malls—along with a surge in shopping via mobile phones and tablets—indicates that consumers are increasingly embracing the advantages of online commerce,” said Fornell.
Retailers are expected to continue their pursuit of strong customer satisfaction ratings in hopes that those ratings will bring in more money in the long run. Time will tell if that plan is effective.