Holiday Cheer Spreads for E-Commerce Giants

Online sales are up from last year through most of the holiday season. But it’s the largest Internet retailers that have been the big winners. One reason: Customers are more satisfied with their experiences with big e-commerce companies than with smaller services.

The 40 largest online-retail Web sites achieved their highest level of customer satisfaction during the 2009 holiday season, according to a survey by ForeSee Results, an e-commerce consulting firm. These companies averaged a satisfaction score of 79 on ForeSee’s index compared with a score of 74 in both 2008 and 2007.

But a similar survey of the 110 online retailers that ForeSee works with–which range from large to small–found that overall satisfaction dropped to a 73, compared with a 75 in 2008 and a 77 in 2007. The smallest companies took the biggest hits.

“The strong are getting stronger and the rest of the pack is getting weaker,” says Larry Freed, ForeSee’s chief executive.

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