The Top 100 Retail Satisfaction Index was released yesterday from ForeSee Results (request page for PDF). The Spring 2010 research white paper quantifies and interplays the two key success indicators for the top 100 online retail

ers: satisfaction and purchase intent. Satisfaction with top e-retailers recovered from lower scores last year to an all-time high of 78. Nearly all retailers saw a rebound to past or above levels.

Netflix enjoyed its fourth year at the top with its score of 87. Amazon scored 86 and came in a close second, its placing for the last six years. Of interest, the number of e-retailers scoring above eighty has increased 560 percent from five Web sites in 2009 to 28 Web sites this year. The best performers on average were the Books/CDs/DVDs category and the Specialty (Non-Apparel) category, with aggregate scores of 79.

This kind of online satisfaction leads to loyalty, sales, and word of mouth recommendations, according to Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee Results. Statistically, when shopper satisfaction rises above 80 the following occurs:

73 percent are more likely to purchase online
67 percent are more likely to purchase from the e-retailer next time they’re in the market for a similar product
47 percent are more likely to purchase offline

Analyzing purchase intent in tandem with satisfaction can show how effectively a given site is functioning. If both are above average, the company is effectively leveraging their site to increase sales across channels. Examples of high dual-performers are Avon, Apple and L.L.Bean. Not only are shoppers likely to return and spend again, but 72 percent recommend to others and retail their positive impression for the retailer overall.

Online, price continues to be one of the highest priorities, so e-retailers "should focus on creating perceptions of greater value to achieve the greatest improvements in satisfaction and purchase intent." Variety, usability and accuracy are also key to satisfaction.