New Report Says Online Shoppers Like Costco More Than Amazon

Customer satisfaction is dropping overall for retail stores—but not for the warehouse giant.

New Report Says Online Shoppers Like Costco More Than Amazon
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When you think of online shopping, you think of Amazon—and for good reason. In 2018, the e-commerce giant generated a staggering $141.92 billion in product sales, up 19.7 percent from $118.57 billion the previous year. But, according to a recently released American Customer Satisfaction Index Retail and Consumer Shipping Report, those eye-popping sales figures haven’t ensured that the Everything Store is America’s favorite online retailer. No, that honor goes to Costco.

The report asked more than 62,000 consumers to rank their favorite department and discount stores, specialty retailers, supermarkets, and e-retailers. The results? While Amazon’s overall customer satisfaction scored dropped 4 points down to 82 out of 100 on the ACSI index, Costco scored a slightly higher 83—and this is the first time the survey has ever even included the warehouse in its internet retail category.

The survey largely attributed Costco’s shocking win to its partnership with same-day grocery delivery service Instacart, which the warehouse giant forged in 2017. Meanwhile, Amazon—which purchased Whole Foods and launched its own delivery service Amazon Fresh for Prime members in select cities that same year—has received many less-then-stellar reviews of its online grocery business.

But, Costco vs Amazon aside, the report revealed some of the painful realities facing the retail industry as a whole. According to the report, “customer satisfaction with retail overall is down for the second year in a row,” and “the widespread decline for retail is due, in part, to less-than-stellar customer service.” To learn how some of your other favorite places to shop fared, read on. And for more on Costco, check out the 17 Best Impulse Buys from Costco.

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Pharmacies

In spite of concerns that Amazon would take over the market with its acquisition of prescription-management startup PillPack, the report says consumers “still prefer smaller drug stores even though these outlets struggle to maintain their lead, slipping 2% to a combined score of 82.”

Kroger took the lead with a score of 81, followed by Albertsons (78), CVS (77), and Walgreens (77).

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Specialty Retail

While the score of L Brands (Victoria’s Secret; Bath and Body Works) has declined by 4 percent, it still remains in first place at 82. Surprisingly, Barnes and Noble is in second place, having maintained a score of 81 for the third year in a row. Home Depot (76), Dick’s Sporting Goods (75) and GameStop (74) were at the bottom of the list.

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Department and Discount Stores

The report says that even though they may still be struggling to keep up, “membership-based warehouse stores are the real winners in 2018.”

Costco took the crown with a score of 83, followed by Sam’s Club (80), BJ’S Wholesale Club (79) and Dillard’s (79). Sears was at the bottom of the list, with a score of 73.

Trader Joe's discount retailer storefront, shopping carts - Saugus, Massachusetts USA Shutterstock

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Supermarkets

“With a 1% uptick to 86, Trader Joe’s is number one among supermarkets and best of all retailers across the sector, including e-commerce giant Amazon (82),” the report reads.

The company rated especially well for staff courtesy and checkout speed. Following Trader Joe’s was Wegmans (85), Aldi (84), Publix (84), and Costco once more (83). Whole Foods landed in the middle (79), and Walmart was at the bottom (72).

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E-Commerce

As previously mentioned, Costco has dethroned Amazon as the most satisfying online retailer with a score of 83, and it also posted its best growth performance in four years. Following those two, Etsy, Kohl’s, Nike, and Nordstrom were all tied at 81. Apple, eBay, HP Store, Macy’s, Newegg, Overstock, Target and Wayfair were all tied at 80. At the bottom were Staples (76), Walgreens (76), GameStop (75), Walmart (74), and Sears (73).

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