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Amazon and Play.com take top honours in customer satisfaction survey

LONDON - Online retailers Amazon UK and Play.com give their users the most customer satisfaction, according to the latest survey compiled by ForeSee Results.

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The two sites scored 78 points out of a possible 100 on the Online Retail Satisfaction Index, which compares customer satisfaction results for the top 30 e-retailers in the UK. 

Nearly a third of the measured websites scored over 70, including eBay UK (72), Apple's iTunes UK (71), Screwfix Direct (71), QVC UK, (70), Ebuyer (70), Asos.com (70) and Argos (70). 

A score of 70 or above is considered the "top performer" threshold for UK e-retailers. 

HMV and Marks & Spencer, who last year scored 70 points each, both dropped out of the top performers' category this year with 69 points and 68 points respectively. 

Tesco Direct also saw a big slide, falling from 8th position in 2007 with 69 points, to 18th position this Christmas with 65 points. 

Four websites with just 60 points rounded out the top 30 -- B&Q, PC world, The Orange Shop and Curry's. 

Foresee Results said that e-retailers that score 60 or below are failing to satisfy shoppers and eroding loyalty. 

Mass merchants, retailers that sell a wide array of products, beat both apparel/accessories web retailers and computer/electronics retailers in terms of shopper satisfaction.

Apparel and Accessories retailers improved in the aggregate, up two points on 2007 scores. 

Larry Freed, chief executive of ForeSee Results, said: "UK retailers need to focus most on improving the availability, variety, and appeal of merchandise in order to improve online satisfaction.  

"A retailer's website content has the lowest impact of customers' likelihood to buy online or offline, buy again, recommend the website, or return to the website.  

"By focusing on improving key aspects of a website -- areas which directly affect customer satisfaction and therefore a company's bottom line, retailers can gain maximum results and enjoy repeat business for years to come -- critical in today's market climate." 

The research was carried out across the UK from November 28 through to December 15 and measured four high level factors that affect overall customer satisfaction -- functionality, price, merchandise and content. 

Survey responses were collected via an online panel provided by Research Now.

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