QVC.com Hits Right E-Commerce Notes

Boosted by strong customer service reviews, QVC.com rose to the top of Forrester Research’s General Merchandise PowerRankings, beating both Amazon.com and BestBuy.com.

QVC.com achieved a PowerRanking of 65.07 to finish several points ahead of Amazon (62.95). Rounding out the top four were BestBuy.com (62.41) and Buy.com(61.23).

According to the report, Amazon missed taking the top spot due to the lack of privacy policy links on its checkout pages, vague inventory status information and slow responses to customer service phone calls.

“While QVC’s site doesn’t offer as many features as its rivals, happycustomers are the key to its success,” said Tom Rhinelander, researchdirector at Forrester. “It’s exactly the opposite situation forBestBuy, where low marks from its customers hold it back. As for Amazon,slow responses from customer service remain its most striking weakness.”

QVC finished No. 1 in customer service and delivery and placed a close second in both the features and transaction categories, in which Amazon was on top.

E-Tail Report Card

Although QVC.com dominated the customer service battle, customers still have difficulty with the company’s overwhelming search result lists, according to the report. Consumers also have difficulty editing their personal account information at QVC.com, Forrester said.

Amazon, on the other hand, received high marks for its search engine and wide range of content andfeatures.

BestBuy was harmed by its lack of features, such as gift-wrapping andcustomer reviews. However, customers did appreciate BestBuy’s quicker thanaverage e-mail response times and low shipping costs. Those features helped boost the site to third place.

Amazon’s Travels

Second place is starting to look all too familiar to Amazon, which also finished second in Forrester’s November Bookselling PowerRankings, losingout by a narrow margin to Borders.com.

Amazon issued a preliminary report Monday about its fourth-quarterperformance that showed holiday sales were not strong enough to powerresults past Wall Street estimates. The news reportedly prompted analysts at threesecurities firms to downgrade the stock.

However, a second-place finish in the general rankings may indicate thatAmazon’s attempts at product diversification are having a significantimpact, at least in terms of customer experience.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Forrester conducts its own online shopping tests and surveys 20,000 consumersto compile its PowerRankings of the major U.S.-based e-commerce sites.

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