A survey of more than 10,000 online shoppers has revealed that Amazon UK's website ranks highest for customer satisfaction.
Amazon is the clear leader, with a customer satisfaction score of 83%. Last year, it was equal top with Play.com, scoring 78% for customer satisfaction, according to the research by Foresee.
The most improved UK site is Debenhams, which increased customer satisfaction by 16% on the previous year. M&M Direct, John Lewis, The Orange Shop and WH Smith each increased their satisfaction rating by 13%.
US retailers lead the way
But the UK still lags behind the US, where retailers score 10% higher than the UK.
Amazon, a US headquartered company with a UK presence, is the only company whose satisfaction rates exceed 80%. Other US companies in the UK top 10 for customer satisfaction are QVC, Apple and eBay.
Larry Freed, CEO at Foresee, said these companies are leveraging the advances the US has made.
"US online retailers are more mature in terms of technology with more functionality," he added. Functionality includes different ways of comparing products and alternative methods of viewing specifications.
Investing in technology
Increasing the availability and variety of products on the websites is the big challenge for UK online retailers.
Because the web browser is a limited shop window, retailers must invest in search technology to make it easy for customers to find what they want.
Peter Fitzgerald, industry leader for retail at Google UK, said getting search right is very important because when a customer is searching rather than browsing there is a "high intent" to buy.
He said if a consumer cannot find what they want quickly, they will go elsewhere. "For many retailers, about 40% of online revenues come through search, so it is important."
Fitzgerald said retailers can invest in technology and build their own search engine or they can partner with suppliers.
UK retailers realise the importance of the underlying technology on their sites.
According to research carried out by Internet Retailer, UK retailers are not waiting for the economic recovery before investing in new technology because they expect the sector to rebound faster than others.
The research revealed that 72.4% of online retailers will increase their spending on technology in the next year.
The survey questioned web-only merchants, retail chains, catalogue companies and manufacturers of consumer brands.
Of the companies surveyed, 14% said they would increase spending by more than 50%, 13.1% said they would increase it by between 20.1% and 50%. The largest group (29%) said they would increase spending by between 10.1% and 15%, with the second biggest group (21.5%) planning to increase their spend by 5.1% and 10%.
A third of respondents said investment in an e-commerce platform was the main priority.
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