Zappos Earns No. 1 Ranking for Online Sales Service

Zappos.com Inc., the online shoes and clothing retailer, scored top marks in a study of customer service at online shopping sites , according to ratings agency StellaService LLC in New York.

The firm rated the 150 largest Internet retailers on 300 factors, such as online tools and their Web sites' user interfaces. Following Zappos in the rankings were Diapers.com, BlueNile.com, Amazon.com, Staples.com, Crutchfield.com, LLBean.com, BestBuy.com, Apple.com, Sears.com and REI.com.

The evaluations included usability tests, orders (and returns) of several products, and more than a dozen interactions with customer service representatives via phone, e-mail and live chat.

StellaService also commissioned a survey of 304 consumers and found that Americans, on average, are willing to pay a 10% premium for great customer service. Respondents said that speed of delivery is the biggest factor in online shopping, followed by helpful staffers and easy access to information on a company's Web site.

Read more about e-business in Computerworld's E-business Topic Center.

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