For the third year running, retail customer satisfaction has improved, according to a report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a national independent index. Overall, retail satisfaction rose 1.7% to ACSI’s benchmark of 77.9%.
ACSI’s research shows consumers were pleased with specialty retail stores, supermarkets, drug stores, and gas stations. Department stores and discount stores showed no change up or down.
Online retail satisfaction took a hit, however, plummeting to 4.9% to gain the lowest score since 2001, which the group attributed to discontent with poor online shopping experiences and shipping delays at the holidays. The issues were exacerbated by last-minute online orders and bad weather.
It's good to see that retail customer satisfaction is up overall, but within ACSI’s analysis — that online retail customer satisfaction took a dive because of last-minute shopping around the holidays — lies a cautionary tale. A lot of the resulting shipping snafus that occurred with 11th-hour orders could be attributed to weather delays and some shipper problems. But most likely, this was an issue of over-promising by both retailers and shippers. The past holiday season was rife with desperate offers of deals and enticements, and the last-minute shipping option was one of those.