Online Retailers Ranked By How They Treat Customers
By George Anderson
A new survey says online retailers have a long way to go to demonstrate the proper amount of R-E-S-P-E-C-T for their shoppers.
According to The Customer Respect Group’s (TCRG) Third Quarter 2005 Online Customer Respect Study of Retailers, only two retailers, Payless Shoe Stores and CVS, achieve a rating of excellent from shoppers.
One of the biggest areas of concern that customers have with online retailers is the collection and sharing of personal information. Forty-five percent of the 53 retailers graded in the report share data with business partners and third parties without receiving permission of the customer.
Terry Golesworthy, president of The Customer Respect Group, said in a released statement: “The online retail market was $87.5 billion in 2004, so the stakes are high. With poor privacy policies in place, and those policies becoming more openly discussed, some companies will find it harder to obtain accurate data and get permission to market back to customers. In short, they will lose the customer’s trust. This will clearly affect online revenues.”
TCRG’s release does mention that there are bright points in online retail’s performance. “Companies are becoming more transparent and open about their policies and practices, making it easier to make choices.” Tower Records was rated “perfect” in this area while Blockbuster, dvd-empire and Wal-Mart were given an “excellent” rating.
Safeway was among those that ranked near the bottom of TCRG’s list. On a one to 10 scale, the company’s online grocery service received a 4.4 rating.
Teena Massingill, a spokesperson for Safeway, took issue with TCRG. “We have our own customer satisfaction measures, and we survey our online delivery customers about their experience. In these measures, our customer satisfaction rating is always in the 90th percentile or above,” she told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Albertsons and Peapod, two other online grocery business operators, scored 7.4 and 7.2 percent respectively.
The top 10 retailers as rated by TCRG were:
- Payless Shoe Source
- CVS Corporation
- L.L. Bean
- Liz Claiborne, Inc.
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
- Barnes & Noble
Moderator’s Comment: Where do you believe are the greatest areas for potential improvement in the shopping experience and customer relationship management
aspects of online retailing? What companies make up your top 10 list of those that demonstrate respect for their shoppers? –
George Anderson – Moderator
- Retailers Ranked on How They Treat Online Customers in Third Quarter 2005 Online Customer Respect Study
– The Customer Respect Group