It’s an Amazon, Amazon, Amazon, Amazon world, but one retailer continues to top the online giant when it comes to shopper experience.
For the second year in a row, outdoor outfitter L.L.Bean tops the list of Prosper Insights & Analytics’ Customer Service Champions over second place Amazon.com. Customer Service Champions were developed from a write-in vote from more than 6,000 U.S. consumers (18+) in September 2015 and weighted by each retailers’ relative size in annual revenues as well as its fan base, as defined by a retailer’s promoters (per the Net Promoter Score.*) See last year’s winners here and 2013’s top picks here. Following L.L.Bean and Amazon (in rank order) are: Nordstrom,Kohl’s, Lands’ End, REI, Zappos.com, JC Penney, QVC, and Macy’s.
Amazon.com, retail disruptor extraordinaire, has just been given the boot. The Bean Boot.
Crowning 2013’s inaugural list of Customer Service Champions, Amazon slipped to second position in 2014, behind L.L.Bean (the former #2). Prosper Insights & Analytics’ 2014 Customer Service Champions were developed from a write-in vote from more than 6,000 U.S. consumers (18+) during the third quarter of 2014 and weighted by each retailers’ relative size in annual revenues as well as its fan base, as defined by a retailer’s promoters (per the Net Promoter Score.*)
This year’s results provide interesting insight into the mindset of consumers. In the last decade, Amazon quickly rose to top of mind among consumers with deep discounts, a wide array of products and services, and free shipping incentives, providing the catalyst for changing the traditional definition of customer service in the digital age. In contrast, century-old L.L.Bean has relied less on the heavy promotions that have marred retailers’ profit margins during the recession and in the years since, instead upholding customer satisfaction through quality products – Guaranteed to Last™ – as well as the no-threshold free shipping incentive that consumers love. With consumers slowly easing back into spending, and retailers searching for solutions to pull back from deep discounting while still remaining competitive, L.L.Bean certainly provides a model for differentiating via satisfaction and quality which resonates with today’s consumers.
As many a marketer will likely attest, too often in today’s retail environment consumers’ final decision in the buyer process comes down one little five letter word: price. Shoppers, armed with their mobile devices, maintain a direct connection to the best deals, promotions, coupons, and offers with just a tap of their fingers, many times giving shoppers an intelligence edge over retailers competing for those buying dollars. In this age of smart consumerism, what’s a retailer to do?