America’s 3 Favorite Online Retailers During the Pandemic

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Happy online shopper
Daniel M Ernst /

Even if online shopping has not been your cup of tea in the past, the chances are good that you’ve learned to embrace it during the coronavirus pandemic.

As most of us stay home and out of harm’s way, we are more likely than ever to rely on the convenience — and now, safety — of online shopping. This year, three online retailers have emerged as the leaders in terms of the customer experience: Costco, Etsy and Nordstrom.

They are the only companies to earn an average score of at least 80 in the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index ratings for internet retailers. These ratings are based on interviews with more than 30,000 customers that were collected in April through September.

In fact, the news for online retailers overall is not good. Customer satisfaction scores for such retailers plummeted during that six-month period, down 4.9% from 2019. No internet retailer has seen its rating rise during the pandemic.

Some of the nation’s biggest retailers — Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, Macy’s, Staples and Target — each received a mediocre score of 77, which is the industry average score for online retailers.

Following are the internet retailers included in the latest ACSI report, along with their score on a scale of 0 to 100:

  • Costco: 80
  • Etsy: 80
  • Nordstrom: 80
  • Kohl’s: 79
  • Newegg: 79
  • HP Store: 78
  • Nike: 78
  • Amazon: 77
  • Best Buy: 77
  • eBay: 77
  • Macy’s: 77
  • Staples: 77
  • Target: 77
  • Home Depot: 76
  • Apple: 75
  • Dell: 75
  • GameStop: 75
  • Gap: 75
  • Groupon Goods: 75
  • Lowe’s: 75
  • Overstock: 75
  • Walgreens: 75
  • Wayfair: 75
  • Walmart: 73
  • Sears: 72

The slipping scores of retailers indicate a “customer experience meltdown across the board,” according to the ACSI. The organization says Amazon’s 7% fall in the rankings from 2019 is particularly noteworthy. According to the ACSI:

“The online giant’s largest decreases come in inventory, navigation, variety, shipping, and customer support. By comparison, Etsy experiences substantial gains in customer support, while Sears, which has the lowest overall score, makes strong gains in shipping.”

Improving your online shopping experience

Looking for tips that will keep your online shopping experience a happy one? Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson recently hosted a podcast in which he discussed this topic. For more, check out “Avoiding the Most Common Online Shopping Mistakes.”

You can find more advice on what not to do when shopping online in our story “7 Common Online Shopping Mistakes That Will Cost You.”

Finally, did you know there is a website that can net you cash back almost every time you shop online? For more, check out “If You’re Not Getting Cash Back Online, Use This Trick.”

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