Surveys Find Amazon’s Good Reputation Growing Among Customers

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Amazon is off to a banner year with its customers, according to two studies from Harris Interactive  and Foresee

According to the 2013 Harris Poll RQ Study — “RQ” standing for “reputation quotient” — Apple and Google join Amazon in the top five as companies that are seen as more than simply “tech” firms, while the Walt Disney Company, Johnson & Johnson, and The Coca-Cola Company maintain their “great reputations.”

In the survey, “16 percent of the public said that the reputation of corporate America showed some improvement — 7 percent more than in 2012 — while 49 percent said it declined, which was 11 percent less than those who felt this way last year.” 

Amazon.com is at the top of the heap, edging out Apple’s position last year as the most reputable company, while AIG and Goldman Sachs again hold bottom positions along with Halliburton, American Airlines, and Bank of America.[more] 

“The public (seems) to have become pragmatically realistic with their expectations of corporate America,” said Robert Fronk, EVP of Reputation Management at Harris Interactive. 

RQ measures (and leaders) across six dimensions are:

Social Responsibility: Whole Foods 

Emotional Appeal: Amazon.com 

Financial Performance: Apple 

Products & Services: Amazon.com 

Vision & Leadership: Apple 

Workplace Environment: Google 

“Our results show that Amazon has managed to build an intimate relationship with the public without being perceived as intrusive,” Fronk said. “And as the company that is so widely known for its personal recommendations, more than nine in ten members of the public would recommend Amazon to friends and family.”

Meanwhile, the ForeSee Mobile Satisfaction Index’s “Holiday Retail Edition” shows Amazon’s dominance in mobile e-retail as well, topping the list at 85, followed by Apple (83) and QVC (83), NewEgg (80) and Victoria’s Secret (80). Retailers with the biggest improvements: Target (+5), Victoria’s Secret (+5), and Barnes & Noble (+4).

“Customers are using their mobile phones as integrated parts of their shopping experience,” said Eric Feinberg, Senior Director of Mobile at ForeSee. “Mobile is the ultimate companion channel, making showrooming as much of an opportunity as it is a threat.”

He cautioned: “Retailers need to engage their customers equally well through all channels, especially through mobile sites and apps, or risk losing customers and sales to competitors that do a better job of meeting their needs.”

Among the index’s key findings:

While customers rate web experiences (79) similarly to mobile (78) in the aggregate, individual satisfaction varies between retailers’ web and mobile sites.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents visited the company’s website first and were highly satisfied (80). 

Customers are more satisfied with their mobile experience for retailers than with financial services. 

As for take-aways for companies, a brand’s social role clearly affects reputation and purchase consideration. “This is about a business having a purpose, not just checking the box on social responsibility or sustainability,” ForSee noted in its findings. “More than 60 percent of consumers now ‘pro-actively try to learn more about how a company conducts itself’ before they are willing to consider that company’s products or services.”

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