By Sumit Passary email: email@example.com | Dec 29, 2012 09:18 AM EST
According to the annual Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index released by ForeSee, an international customer experience analytics firm, Apple has dropped out of the top five list in the e-retail sector.
In 2012, Apple refreshed nearly its entire product portfolio ranging from iPods to MacBook Pro, but the company's presence in the Internet retail arena slipped three points as user satisfaction dropped to 80 out of 100. In 2011, Apple had secured the second spot but this year is a different story as the company is out of the top five.
Many large retailers saw their ratings slide and JC Penney, now run by former Apple executive Ron Johnson has slipped five points to 78 and Dell has dropped four points to 77.
"This year, we're seeing that even some of the largest companies in the country are at risk if they lose sight of customer satisfaction. Satisfaction with the customer experience, when measured correctly, is the most important predictor of future success, and while Amazon clearly gets it, Apple stumbles from their usual focus on the customer experience. Dell, and JCPenney seem to be struggling to find their way, which could make them extremely vulnerable to competitors," said Larry Freed, ForeSee president and CEO.
ForeSee reports that the eighth annual report is based on more than 24,000 customer surveys collected during the prime holiday shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which included 100 e-retailers, an increase from 40 in 2011.
Amazon.com remains at the top of customer satisfaction with 88 points, the same as last year. Additionally, the report claims that Amazon.com has had the highest scores in the Index eight years in a row.
"At this point, Amazon has been dominant for so long and has such a history of focusing on the customer, its hard to imagine anyone else coming close. Companies should emulate Amazon's focus on the customer, which is clearly linked to superior revenues over the years," added Freed.
The year 2012 has proven very challenging for Apple. Time will tell if Apple can get back in the top five in 2013 with improved customer satisfaction.