Tech giant Apple’s holiday season didn’t turn out to be as merry as expected – at least not when it came to customer satisfaction and online retail sales.
In fact, according to analytics firm ForeSee, Apple fell three points from last year in the annual Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index, while also registering its lowest score in four years. Amazon set the standard and once again topped the list, which is based on more than 24,000 customer surveys collected during prime holiday shopping season in the US.
Antone Gonsalves of ReadWrite noted that Apple’s problem may have to do with its lack of online customer reviews, which could help shoppers decide which product is right for them. “There’s no doubt,” he wrote, “that the consumer electronics maker needs to double down on improving its online customer experience to avoid turning the decline into a trend.”
(Check out: “Online Reviews Key to Building Consumer Trust”)
Apple not making the list of this year’s top five retailers should serve as “a little bit of a yellow caution flag (for the company),” added ForeSee President and CEO Larry Freed. “There are no product reviews on Apple’s site. In trying to decide if the iPad mini is right for me or not, you’re really forced to go somewhere else to get somebody’s opinion.”
Other big-name retailers suffering declines include JC Penney, Dell, and Barnes and Noble (BN.com).
The Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index also gives way to key insights about the relationship between online customer experience and customer satisfaction. As highlighted in the infographic below, online retail sales are breaking new records – but customer satisfaction remains stagnant. The reasons? A number of big retailers – Apple included – are not making changes that align with customer wants, needs, and expectations. This includes the lack of aggregated online reviews, which have been proven time and again to shape consumer behavior and directly affect sales performance.