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Poised for online improvement in the fall

Target ranked 49th on a list of the nation’s 100 largest online retailers based on an annual assessment conducted by the research firm ForeSee Results. The firm said that customer satisfaction with e-tailers is at an all time high with an overall median score of 78 on a scale of 100. Target scored a 78 compared with top-ranked Amazon.com at 86 and bottom ranked RueLaLa.com at 70. The company could make a major move up the ranking by this time next year as a major relaunch of Target.com is planned for this fall just as millions of shopper head online for holiday shopping.

Nearly one-third of the rated e-retailers scored 80 or higher, the threshold at which ForeSee regards a company as a top performer, up significantly from 2007 when only four websites were considered top performers. Moreover, not a single e-retailer scored below 70. Just two years ago, 15% of the top 100 retailers scored 69 or lower.

“Over the last seven years, we’ve really seen an industry mature from a huge range of satisfaction scores to a relatively narrow range,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results. “However, it’s important to remember that these scores are for only the top 100 e-retailers, and a lot of smaller retailers still struggle with prioritizing the online customer experience. Understanding the relationship between customer satisfaction and purchase behavior should be a powerful motivator to measure and improve online customer satisfaction.”

The report, which can be downloaded at www.foreseeresults.com looked at retailers in categories and trade channels such as apparel/accessories, books/music/video, computers/electronics, food/drug, mass merchant, specialty/non-apparel, auto parts/accessories, flowers/gifts, hardware/home improvement, health and beauty, housewares/home furnishings, jewelry, office supplies, sporting goods and toys/hobby.

Survey results were based on 22,000 visits to the top 100 e-commerce sites as determined by Internet Retailer's Top 500 Guide.