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Customers say Apple's online store has become less satisfying to shop

post #1 of 142
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A new survey ranking major retailers' online stores found that customers felt Apple's website dropped in quality in 2012.

Customers who participated in the survey by ForeSee gave Apple a score of 80 out of 100. That's down from last year's score of 83, and represents a four-year-low for the company.

Larry Freed, president and chief executive of ForeSee, told Reuters that customers felt navigation on Apple's online store has become more difficult. In particular, customers apparently feel Apple's expanded product lineup ? which has added products such as the iPad in recent years ? has become an issue.

Store


Last year, Apple was tied for second place in the survey, but this year Apple fell out of the top five online stores in terms of customer satisfaction.

"Satisfaction with the customer experience, when measured correctly, is the most important predictor of future success, and while Amazon clearly gets it, Apple stumbles from their usual focus on the customer experience," Freed said. "Dell, and JCPenney seem to be struggling to find their way, which could make them extremely vulnerable to competitors."

Holding first place in the rankings was Amazon, which matched last year's score of 88 out of 100. Other companies ahead of Apple were LLBean.com (score of 85), QVC.com (84), Esteelauder.com (83) and Newegg.com (81).

Apple's score of 80 saw the company tied for 14th place with websites such as Netflix.com, MusiciansFriend.com, VictoriasSecret.com, Chicos.com, 1800Flowers.com, and Walgreens.com.

"At this point, Amazon has been dominant for so long and has such a history of focusing on the customer, its hard to imagine anyone else coming close," added Freed. "Companies should emulate Amazon's focus on the customer, which is clearly linked to superior revenues over the years."

ForeSee's data is based on more than 24,000 customer surveys collected during the holiday shopping season during Thanksgiving and Christmas. It measured satisfaction among customers at the top 100 online stores.
post #2 of 142

No one tell Quadra...

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post #3 of 142

I don't find that true at all. Apple's site may have gotten more expansive due to a larger product line but it's well organized and very informative.

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post #4 of 142
We know this already after TS pointed us to the extra click needed to choose a MBP model, and that was months ago. Months I tell ya!
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post #5 of 142

Just hire the person from Amazon

post #6 of 142
I find the experience is no worse, and mostly, pretty good.

It's probably reflective of people reacting to the overall sense of frustration with the ordering process with some of Apple's new product rollouts, especially the iPhone 5. That part of the Apple shopping experience has, indeed, got to be laughable.
post #7 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I find the experience is no worse, and mostly, pretty good.
It's probably reflective of people reacting to the overall sense of frustration with the ordering process with some of Apple's new product rollouts, especially the iPhone 5. That part of the Apple shopping experience has, indeed, got to be laughable.

I think you might be right. Regardless of how many clicks it takes to get to the buy screen if the product says Ships in 4-6 weeks you aren't going to be happy when you want it right away.

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post #8 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I find the experience is no worse, and mostly, pretty good.
It's probably reflective of people reacting to the overall sense of frustration with the ordering process with some of Apple's new product rollouts, especially the iPhone 5. That part of the Apple shopping experience has, indeed, got to be laughable.

agreed that this is likely a major factor in the disatistifaction. Especially when you consider that they were only asking during holiday shopping. Not to mention that I question the survey in general in terms of sample size and selection. I suspect it is far from statistically sound on either front. For all we know for every person asked there were 10 others who were very satisfied who simply weren't asked

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post #9 of 142

I definitely think the online Apple store is harder to navigate than it used to be. There are too many click-throughs to get to the product you want. I know the product line has expanded, but it hasn't expanded *that* much. I don't think they needed to add the extra click-through. 

post #10 of 142

i agree

 

bought iphone 5 on release day for my wife and a month later for myself. trying to find a case for it is almost impossible on the apple store. go to amazon and its 2 seconds of searching. 

 

its 2012 and the apple online store is always going down for maintenance. seriously

 

the selection is crap and the prices are almost always higher

 

i bought an MBP last year and it took them 4 hours to get it ready for store pickup and another 20 minutes in the store to get it from the back. meanwhile there was a stack of stuff on the counter for walk in customers

post #11 of 142
I actually agree that the site is worse now than it was.

I find it frustrating and annoyingly more difficult than it needs to be to find certain products as they are really buried now.

Its still one of the best sites out their though.
post #12 of 142
Apple should just buy Amazon...
post #13 of 142

Perhaps Apple's online store experience has gone down, but I don't feel Amazon's is superior at all. I often find myself confused and lost on that site. Not easy to browse, you need to know what you're looking for. When you find something, details are scattered on the page. It isn't sectioned off very well. I prefer sites like Newegg and Sonic Electronix. But hey, I'm just one amoeba in a sea of creatures.

 

 

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post #14 of 142

Definitely Apple's site is harder to navigate. It's not hugely harder, but it seems like a pointless change. More marketingy and less functionality.

 

Some things are really quite hard to get to, such as unlocked iPhones. Does Apple not want to sell them? If so, it simply shouldn't. A store should have a product or not have it. Making a product hard to find by steering the customer elsewhere (in this case to the locked phones) is insulting. I know what I'm looking for.

 

I don't think Amazon is good model though. The model should be Apple from 2010.
 

post #15 of 142
I express great dissatisfaction with any site that displays those interminable ForeSee survey pop-overs.
post #16 of 142
Regarding Amazon, when a company can report a loss for the quarter and their stock goes up 6% the next day you know we're not dealing with reality here. Amazon's rating probably has little to do with how you navigate the site.
post #17 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenoz View Post

Apple should just buy Amazon...

That will never happens, Amazon it's in a good standing economically so they don't need to merge with anyone. The one that I would like Apple to buy its Blackberry that is almost dead.

post #18 of 142

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I find the experience is no worse, and mostly, pretty good.
It's probably reflective of people reacting to the overall sense of frustration with the ordering process with some of Apple's new product rollouts, especially the iPhone 5. That part of the Apple shopping experience has, indeed, got to be laughable.

 

Or the latest iMacs, which weren't available for quite a while after announcement, and you couldn't buy the older ones either. On the other hand, you didn't have the old, "but I just bought the old one," problem.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

Perhaps Apple's online store experience has gone down, but I don't feel Amazon's is superior at all. I often find myself confused and lost on that site. Not easy to browse, you need to know what you're looking for. When you find something, details are scattered on the page. It isn't sectioned off very well. I prefer sites like Newegg and Sonic Electronix. But hey, I'm just one amoeba in a sea of creatures.

 

Yes, it sort of makes you wonder about the survey. I find Amazon is a horrible experience in comparison to the Apple online store. The worst part about Amazon is that you never really know who you are buying something from. (Well, you do, if you are careful, but the point is you can't just go buy and know without worrying about it.) That, and, as you point out, the scattering of information around the page, mixed in with other crap they are trying to sell you... The noise, noise, noise!

 

Then there's the ridiculousness of Amazon encouraging you to tweet that you just bought a toner cartridge or an ethernet cable...

post #19 of 142
I agree with this. There was a time when getting around the site was quick and easy. While I haveno trouble navigating the site, I know plenty of people that do.
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post #20 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post

Definitely Apple's site is harder to navigate. It's not hugely harder, but it seems like a pointless change. More marketingy and less functionality.

Some things are really quite hard to get to, such as unlocked iPhones. Does Apple not want to sell them? If so, it simply shouldn't. A store should have a product or not have it. Making a product hard to find by steering the customer elsewhere (in this case to the locked phones) is insulting. I know what I'm looking for.

I don't think Amazon is good model though. The model should be Apple from 2010.

 
I guess I don't get what's so difficult. I went to Apple's website and clicked on shop iPhone. I then see a page that has iPhone 5, cases and accessories on it. I clicked on 'buy now' under iPhone 5. It then asks me to chose a color and a model. Right under the subsidized models is a link to order an unlocked contract free phone. I click that link and it asks me to chose a model with prices undneath. I chose a model and then off to the right I get a summary. I make sure the summary is right and click continue. Then I come to a page that asks if I want to purchase any accessories like AppleCare or cables and adapters. Once I'm done I click on add to cart and complete my purchase. Could there be fewer steps? Maybe, but I certainly don't find it difficult or confusing in the least. Took me less than 10 seconds to get to link to purchase an unlocked iPhone. My guess is Apple's numbers went down because of the delay in shipping. iPhone 5, iPad Mini and iMac all had delays. A lot of people are still waiting for their new iMacs that they ordered at the end of November. I can see where that would be incredibly frustrating and taint the overall buying experience.
post #21 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by maclancer View Post

The one that I would like Apple to buy its Blackberry that is almost dead.

Do you think talented people are still there? Usually the smartest ones get out first.
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post #22 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

I agree with this. There was a time when getting around the site was quick and easy. While I haveno trouble navigating the site, I know plenty of people that do.
just curious why you think people have a hard time navigating the site. To me it seems a lot easier than most retail websites I've used.
post #23 of 142
Amazon website works because Amazon is an online warehouse/catalog. They aren't in the business of advertising their products, since they don't have any of their own products to sell, except the Kindle.

Apple's site exists to sell their products only. However, the same "rich" interface exists for the sale of books, apps, music, which I think is a hindrance. No question, Apple needs to improve both.
post #24 of 142
I find the website to be a mess. Finding relevant accessories is painful, the line between the store and website is blurred and runs you in circles, some items don't list prices (OS X Server), but instead send you to the app store, reliability is poor.

Likewise, Express Pickup isn't, and Express Checkout is slow, murky, or ineffective depending on your perspective.

On the plus side, you can actually get useful information such as dimensions and weights that other stores (such as Amazon) often leave out.

All it means is that it is an area Apple can (and presumably will) improve in. Hopefully their next retail chief can better integrate things.
post #25 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

Perhaps Apple's online store experience has gone down, but I don't feel Amazon's is superior at all. I often find myself confused and lost on that site. Not easy to browse, you need to know what you're looking for. When you find something, details are scattered on the page. It isn't sectioned off very well. I prefer sites like Newegg and Sonic Electronix. But hey, I'm just one amoeba in a sea of creatures.

 

I agree Amazon's site is terrible and has been for years. I don't know why they haven't attempted to make it easier to navigate? What they have on their side is the sheer variety of products including many products you can't buy in stores. Also over the holidays they're free shipping on most items was a huge benefit.

 

Only way Apple's rank could improve is if they magically had their product appear on your front door right as your order it...

post #26 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by maclancer View Post

That will never happens, Amazon it's in a good standing economically so they don't need to merge with anyone. The one that I would like Apple to buy its Blackberry that is almost dead.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


Do you think talented people are still there? Usually the smartest ones get out first.

 

Probably the only benefit would be patents and whatever contracts Blackberry still has with businesses.

 

Both could be huge for Apple.

post #27 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

Apple's site exists to sell their products only. However, the same "rich" interface exists for the sale of books, apps, music, which I think is a hindrance. No question, Apple needs to improve both.

Selling Apple's products requires building the ecosystem around them. For one customer, the skin might make the iPhone, and another the stand is what sells the iPad, or the software is what sells the Mac.

For me, the Humanscale M8 is an absolute necessity for an iMac; for someone else it might be different. Not offering these things through the Apple web store is silly. The stuff gets drop-shipped anyway!
post #28 of 142
@blitz1

You act like one offensive jerk who does not seem to understand reality. Brainwashed by spending too much time with Apple? I guess so. Stop being blind pundit.

It happens that I have been with Apple products much longer than iPhone and iPad exists (my first iPod was 2nd gen and at that time I ran Mac OS X and OS 9 home).

However I always now find that Amazon is way better experience in shopping than Apple for number of reasons. One of them is the fact that when I submit review somewhat negative I get a call or e-mail within 2 hours to straigthen the issue. Have we ever get that from Apple? Also I can easily search for products that I need rather than products that company wants to sell to me. And currently Apple wants to promote iPad and iPhone while I may be looking for some display or Mac Pro. Yes I know how to find it with number of clicks, but not everybody does. Similarily, Apple forgets naming iLife its name and sells them as separate apps for number of months even not calling them iLife on their web site (it used to be different) and then correcting this, but people wonder if their computer breaks are they eligible for iLife rebuild (models 2011)... or not as there is no iLife... or there is, but branded differently and apps are separate.

Things like that confuse customers and there is no clear vision in Apple online store.

Also I would add regular Apple Stores to dropping in quality. I walk to major one in state of NJ where I live and I stray as much as I want looking for some specific technical help, but no help. I can only play with all that equipment that I already know or I am not interested in. I waste 15-30 minutes untill geek comes to me... and he cannot answer my tech question sending me somewhere else. So what quality is this?

So instead of being blind and offending people of being from different camp (while they may be not) listen, watch so you will learn about facts.

On top of this many Apple products are overpriced due to licensing and patenting madness rather than to actual cost of manufacturing so Amazan offers knockoffs and sometimes they even work the same way as original once from Apple? How is this possible? Not all merchandise fell of the truck. Com'n.
post #29 of 142
It lost it's super simple point and click feature of old.
Plus, I miss the RECENTLY ADDED section that was in the upper right hand corner. It was nice to use that on a release day to see if anything else like an Airport had an update.
post #30 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


Do you think talented people are still there? Usually the smartest ones get out first.

 

 

I find it very offensive. How many companies did you work for that you have this kind of conclusions? I happen to work with 12 so I can write a book on mergers, take overs, leaving, consulting, employment, ups, downs being VP and a regular employee  e.t.c. I may even write a book on offensive people who do not know first thing and base their knwoledge on popular opinions from social circles rather than facts.

 

The choices people make (or have to make) vary so much that you have no idea. Talented people sometimes stay long... very long and you will not understand why unless you get more life experience.

post #31 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by maciekskontakt View Post

@blitz1
You act like one offensive jerk who does not seem to understand reality. Brainwashed by spending too much time with Apple? I guess so. Stop being blind pundit. ... So instead of being blind and offending people of being from different camp (while they may be not) listen, watch so you will learn about facts.
On top of this many Apple products are overpriced due to licensing and patenting madness rather than to actual cost of manufacturing so Amazan offers knockoffs and sometimes they even work the same way as original once from Apple? How is this possible? Not all merchandise fell of the truck. Com'n.

 

You sort of undermine any point you might have had when you wrap it in "political" statements that have no bearing on the subject. All your post tells us is that you wanted to vent some of your anger against Apple, most of which has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

post #32 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by maciekskontakt View Post

 

 

I find it very offensive. How many companies did you work for that you have this kind of conclusions? I happen to work with 12 so I can write a book on mergers, take overs, leaving, consulting, employment, ups, downs being VP and a regular employee  e.t.c. I may even write a book on offensive people who do not know first thing and base their knwoledge on popular opinions from social circles rather than facts.

 

The choices people make (or have to make) vary so much that you have no idea. Talented people sometimes stay long... very long and you will not understand why unless you get more life experience.

 

Ok, you still work at RIM and you're offended, we get it.

post #33 of 142

14th is a good rating considering the number of online companies.

 

Still, it is a serious bump down from last year's rating and one more thing that gets read in the news as a negative towards Apple.

 

Tim better get someone on this because the last thing he wants is for this rating to do go down even further next year.

 

... and I agree... this probably has a lot to do with wait times.
 

Hmmmmmm...
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post #34 of 142
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post
We know this already after TS pointed us to the extra click needed to choose a MBP model, and that was months ago. Months I tell ya!

 

Ha! I totally forgot about that. And all joking aside, that is probably part of this.


Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post
Do you think talented people are still there? Usually the smartest ones get out first.

 

Well, I think talented patents are still there.

post #35 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

I agree Amazon's site is terrible and has been for years. I don't know why they haven't attempted to make it easier to navigate?

Familiarity breeds satisfaction. The site can be the biggest pain in the world but folks have adjusted to it. Change it and they have to relearn it. Which immediately makes it 'harder'

Same as when Microsoft changed from the start menu to the start screen, etc.

Apples site is easier than before. For the common person. It's more step by step, or question at a time. And that's the issue. Before it was us, the techno geeks, that went to the site. We didn't need human assistance we just wanted our stuff. The site was terrible but we are the folks that figured out Mac OS etc before there were books, lynda.com and so forth. We relished the challenge. And grew accustomed to it.

Now traffic in stores is insane and they can't snap fingers and fix it. So they need an online store that isn't so scary. But it means what we know is gone and we are hampered with the traffic jam of more steps. We lash against this. Same as iOS being too common, same as iOS like features being put in Mac OS. We are 'losing' are exclusive stomping ground piece by piece.
Edited by charlituna - 12/27/12 at 9:06am

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post #36 of 142
I always find it amusing that when people want to criticize Apple they need to tell us how long they've been using their products and how many Apple devices they own or have owned in the past. And usually the ones that complain the loudest are the ones that claim they own the most Apple devices. I guess it confuses me that people who dislike Apple so much would own so many of their products.
post #37 of 142

I don't find Apple's site all that confusing, it's certainly more simple than Amazon or eBay - and I don't find those confusing, either.  Just a bit...chaotic, sometimes.

 

This must have more to do with frustration over delayed shipping, etc.

post #38 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

I always find it amusing that when people want to criticize Apple they need to tell us how long they've been using their products and how many Apple devices they own or have owned in the past. And usually the ones that complain the loudest are the ones that claim they own the most Apple devices. I guess it confuses me that people who dislike Apple so much would own so many of their products.

 

I don't find that strange at all. I'll complain long and hard if I think Apple is slipping in any way. In my opinion, anyone who says they care about Apple should be the first one to let Apple know that there is a problem.

Hmmmmmm...
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post #39 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

 

I don't find that strange at all. I'll complain long and hard if I think Apple is slipping in any way. In my opinion, anyone who says they care about Apple should be the first one to let Apple know that there is a problem.

 

Well, but, almost without exception, no one who isn't planning to bash Apple in their post states things like, "I own 3 of every Apple product ever released."

 

It's done to inoculate themselves from being accused of trolling. "How can I be a troll if I own all these Apple products?" It's a variation of concern trolling.

post #40 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

 

I agree Amazon's site is terrible and has been for years. I don't know why they haven't attempted to make it easier to navigate? What they have on their side is the sheer variety of products including many products you can't buy in stores. Also over the holidays they're free shipping on most items was a huge benefit.

 

Only way Apple's rank could improve is if they magically had their product appear on your front door right as your order it...

I ordered a Refurb MBP 13" on Dec. 17th.  Apple shipped it to me for FREE PRIORITY OVERNIGHT on Dec. 19th and it arrived late Dec. 20th.  What company does this but maybe Zappos.com?

 

The only real problem I had with the purchase was trying to get the AppleCare and One-to-One both in the order.  Once you added one, the other disappeared from the list of options.  Other than that, my only dissatisfying experience of the whole process was the box it came in.  I know refurbished don't include the nice shinny Apple Boxes, but this one looked like it had come from and Ebay seller.  I've had better packaging from Dell.

 

I agree with others, the APPLE BRAND accessories are not intuitive to find, they kind of lump them in with other 3rd party accessories...like the Airports and the Thunderbolt Display.  They should have their own tab at the top.  They also moved the Apple TV from the iPod section to a small bit of text at the top of the left-hand bar reading "Popular Accessories".  So now Apple thinks the ATV is just another accessory?  That's Odd, could mean something in the future to come but who knows.


Edited by antkm1 - 12/27/12 at 9:52am
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