Consumer Reports Rates Top Retail Chains

For their March 2012 newsstand edition, Consumer Reports printed a story that took 10 of the largest retail giants in the US and rated customer experience both “in-store” and “online.”  The ten retailers researched were:

  1. Costco
  2. Kohl’s
  3. JC Penney
  4. Target
  5. Macy’s
  6. Meijer
  7. Sears
  8. Sam’s Club
  9. Kmart
  10. Walmart

Remove two of the above for “insufficient online data” and another for yielding a tie, and ALL of the seven remaining, respondents rated their online buying experience HIGHER than their in-store experience.

Costco was their number 1 rated retailer (for both online and in-store).  Everything and more is able to be purchased online through their site, which received “superior” marks on 4 out of 6 of their criteria.  After a quick venture through their site I agree with their assessment: the only thing not available online was the “long check-out lines.”  For what it’s worth, the 10th place retailer on their list, Walmart, isn’t an afterthought on this as only 11 points separated 1st from 10th.

The march towards retailers establishing online stores continues and shows absolutely no signs of backing off.  The tradition brick-and-mortar model will never completely go away, but what these retailers have found is that customers almost universally have a better customer experience making their purchases online than they do in-store.  As time goes on, retailers who have not invested time and resources into developing eCommerce shopping cart systems, will begin to feel the effects of declining sales by a more tech-savvy population that may prefer to do their shopping at home during Football commercial breaks or over lunch at a restaurant, then have those purchases “magically” appear on their front step.

Developing an online store for a retail business isn’t just reserved for the big chains or the “Amazon’s” of the world with thousands of products, professional online-stores can be started with as few as even five products.  Though we have had the opportunity to work with some large and well-known household names in the retail industry, InteractOne has been in the business of moving small and medium retailers online for almost 14 years.

The Consumer Reports article referenced above can be found in their March 2012 newsstand edition .