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Online retailers performed best for customer satisfaction in a survey of five retail categories in the UK, including supermarkets, department stores and electrical retailers.

The UK National Customer Satisfaction Index scored retailers for Q4 2008, giving e-commerce a score of 82, much higher than the average of 74.8.

NCSI chart

For the e-commerce rating, only online pure-plays were put into this category by name, so multichannel retailers like John Lewis or Tesco are counted as 'other providers' in the online scores.

Play.com and Amazon both scored above the average e-commerce mark of 82, with 87 and 85 respectively, while eBay on 79 was below the average. The worst performing e-commerce site was Ticketmaster, with a customer satisfaction score of 74.

According to Xavier Quenaudon, Vice President at CFI, the research firm behind the study:

"We have conducted the same study for US retailers, and were surprised how similar the results are. E-commerce comes top on both surveys, with the same score of 82. This is because customers are able to self-select more with online retailers before they purchase, and find a retailer that suits them. There is a good fit between the people using these services and what sites like Amazon have to offer. This leads to a higher sense of loyalty towards e-tailers"

The results also echo a recent eDigital mystery shopper survey, which gave Amazon and Play.com high scores across a number of categories, though Play.com scored poorly on email customer service.

Graham Charlton

Published 24 February, 2009 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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