New Survey Shows Why Amazon Has Bricks-And-Mortar Retailers Worried

Many bricks-and-mortar retailers claim Amazon has an unfair advantage because it is not — in most states — yet required to collect sales tax on purchases, or that Amazon can offer huge discounts because it doesn’t have the overhead associated with running a retail store. But a new survey shows that people might just like Amazon more than other retailers.

A recently released Harris Poll of online shoppers compared Amazon, Zappos.com, LLbean.com, and the websites for 11 major retailers primarily associated with bricks-and-mortar stores. The survey asked respondents to rate these sites on six criteria — ease of shopping; product selection; perceived value; overall satisfaction; and likelihood of recommending to a friend.

On the upside, 12 of the 14 websites, scored at least a 5.0 (out of 7) on overall satisfaction, indicating that customers were by and large happy with their shopping experience.

In each category, Amazon beat out all other sites on the list. This would seem to imply that it’s not simply price or the lack of sales tax that is driving people to the massive e-tailer. In fact, Amazon’s pricing — while still rated higher than all others on the survey — earned the company its lowest score, a 5.7/7. Its highest-rated category was product selection, where it earned a 6.0/7, the highest individual category score in the entire survey.

So maybe people are shopping at Amazon because it offers a mammoth selection, is easy to use, and at a decent price? These are all things that other major retailers could offer online.

Which is perhaps why Costco’s site came in second in the indexed rankings, with a score of 77/100. Once again, though Costco is often referred to as a “discount” warehouse store, price was its lowest-rated category (5.2/7), behind ease of use and overall satisfaction (both 5.6/7) and product selection (5.5/7).

The only other site with an indexed score at or above 75/100 was Target’s, which again earned decent numbers for overall satisfaction (5.5/7) and product selection (5.3/7), while having price as its lowest-rated category with only a 5.0/7.

Actually, Walmart’s website was the only one in which price was not the absolute lowest-scoring category, with the 5.1/7 for perceived value tying the nation’s largest retailer’s score for overall satisfaction.

The two retailers who scored below a 5.0 for overall satisfaction — Abercrombie & Fitch and Urban Outfitters, both with a 4.6 — also tied for the lowest indexed rating of all the retailers in the survey with a score of 60/100. Neither retailer cracked the 5.0 boundary in any category, and Abercrombie was actually the only site on the list to drop below the 4.0 threshold, with its 3.9/7 score for price.

You can check out the entire survey, which provides all sorts of granular information for company and each category if you click on the results, HERE.