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Online Shoppers Jazzed About Holiday Experience

Online holiday shoppers were happier with their experiences in 2009 than they were in 2008, according to ForeSee Results' annual report on holiday shoppers.

The firm's E-Retail Satisfaction Index rose 7% to 79 on the 100-point scale, a new high.

Macy's, The Home Shopping Network and Overstock.com were among the sites recording the biggest year-over-year jumps in satisfaction.

Amazon held on to its No. 1 spot on the ranking with an 87 score — three points higher than in 2008.

The top 10 customer satisfaction sites included: Nexflix (86), QVC (83), Apple (82), Cabela's (82), Avon Products (81), J.C. Penney (81), Newegg.com (81), L.L. Bean (80) and Systemax (80).

"Even in this tough economic climate, e-retail continues to be the bright spot in a dark environment, and last year's declines are proving to be the anomaly," said Larry Freed, president and ceo of ForeSee Results.

He noted that the satisfaction ranking of 37 sites is dominated by large companies with robust sites and the ability to offer sharp price points. "Smaller and midsized e-retailers may not be so lucky," he said.

Top home textiles retailers also making the list included Costco, Walmart and Williams-Sonoma (each with a 79), Target (78), Sears (75) and Neiman Marcus (73).

In general, the report found that a company improving its prices — even if only consumers' perception of its prices — was more important to consumers during the recent season than merchandise and site functionality.

"It's no surprise that price is priority this year. It's a reflection of these difficult economic times," said Kevin Ertell, vp of retail strategy at ForeSee Results. "But simply cutting prices isn't necessarily a business model for success, so prioritizing website improvements that customers value most is an absolute necessity."

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