Apple Online, Amazon Rank High with Consumers

Apple reached a new high in ForeSee’s online retailer satisfaction study this holiday season. The Mac, iPhone and iPad maker climbed a point to 83 out of 100, putting it behind Amazon and its top ranked 88 points.

Apple’s second place spot turned out to be a five-way tie with Avon, JC Penney, QVC and Vista Print all earning 83 points, too. JC Penney also happens to be the company that former Apple vice president of retail Ron Johnson now runs.

Customer satisfaction rankings from ForeSeeChart courtesy of ForeSee

ForeSee’s annual study gauges customer satisfaction with online retailers. “A score of 80 has always been the standard for excellence; given the causal relationship between satisfaction and financial success, it is not surprising that most of the sites receiving the top 40 largest revenues according to Internet Retailer also have very high satisfaction scores,” the company said.

The study also showed that consumers were less concerned about price than they were last year, and that companies can quickly lose customer loyalty.

Netflix, for example, dropped seven points down to 79 this year thanks to pricing and organization changes that upset customers. “Netflix totally misread its customer base and is paying the price, damaging its brand among both consumers and investors,” said ForeSee president and CEO Larry Freed.

Apple’s online retail score has been climbing since it was first tracked by the firm in 2005. In 2005, Apple earned a score of 76, putting in firmly in the average range. By 2009, however, the company had climbed to the excellent range with a score of 82.

That upward trend spells good news for Apple since a single point can lead to as much as a 14 percent increase in online revenue. “Customer satisfaction is a leading indicator of consumer spending, and the bump in the Index is good news for online retailers,” Mr. Freed said.