Apple ranks No. 4 in e-retailing survey

Behind only Netflix, Amazon and Avon in consumer satisfaction, it's No. 1 in electronics

Apple's (aapl) online store scored well in a survey that found Web shoppers considerably more satisfied with their experience than they were during the recession.

The survey, published Wednesday by ForeSee Results, was based on data collected from 23,400 respondents who visited the top 100 online retail sites during two weeks in February.

Measured by customer satisfaction, Apple was the No. 1 retailer in the computer/electronics category and No. 4 overall, after Netflix (nflx), Amazon (amzn), and Avon Products (avp).

It was also one of the most-improved, with a satisfaction rating of 83 out of 100, up 8 points (11%) from 2009. As a group, the top 100 retailers rebounded 5 points (6.8%) to 78 from their low of 73 last spring.

"The state of the economy really forced e-retail to step up their game," said Larry Freed, ForeSee CEO, in a prepared statement. "Since so much of the financial downturn was out of their control, companies turned to those things they could improve, and now they are reaping the benefits. Customer satisfaction is not a byproduct of a healthy economy. Instead, a healthy economy is a consequence of satisfied customers."

The stakes are high. According to Freed's research, every one-point increase in his satisfaction index translates into a $89 million boost in sales.

Below: The rankings of the top 12 e-tailers in the computers/electronics category.

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Foresee, based in Ann Arbor, owns the American Customer Satisfaction Index developed at the University of Michigan. Their spring 2010 report is available here (registration required).

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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