December 14, 2016

Which Retailers are Winning the Holiday Shopping Battle and Who Will Lead in 2017?


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ForeSee Customer Experience Index Breaks Down Holiday Performance of Top 50 U.S. Retailers in Mobile, Web, and Store

ANN ARBOR, MI (December 14, 2016)— Results of the 12th annual ForeSee Experience Index (FXI) have identified the top brands for retail customer experience this holiday season. The study encompasses most major retailers, including brands such as Kohl’s (toe-to-toe with Apple across channels) and Amazon (down one point year-over-year online).

“This data is critical to retail executives, analysts, and investors because customer experience is a proven predictor of future financial performance,” said Eric Feinberg, VP at ForeSee and author of the report. “This year’s study identifies several significant trends for retail executives to consider, especially when working across store, web, and mobile channels.”

Omnichannel Insights

Perhaps the most significant of these trends is the rapidly shifting landscape of customer purchasing journeys. No one channel is siloed in terms of revenue generation.

Mobile is especially pervasive, and contributes the most to other channels overall. Fifty percent of shoppers use their phone in-store—59 percent of those to price check, and 50 percent to research while shopping.

Mobile Insights

Mobile customer experience scored an impressive 80 in this year’s FXI (80 or above is considered an excellent score). It is the only of the three channels measured to have an excellent score since Store CX ranked 82 in 2011.

Amazon, Apple, Coach, H&M, L.L. Bean, HSN, Newegg, Nike, Under Armour, Best Buy, Express, Kohl’s and Neiman Marcus all received excellent mobile scores in this year’s FXI.

Customers that have great mobile experiences are:

  • 64 percent more likely to purchase from that retailer’s mobile site/app
  • 42 percent more likely to make a purchase in another channel
  • 50 percent more likely to buy from that retailer the next time they buy similar merchandise
  • 54 percent more likely to recommend the store

Mobile contribution is a critical metric to consider,” Feinberg said. “When consumers visit a retailer on mobile, there is 13 to 26 percent attrition to competitors. To manage this, brands must measure and understand the contribution mobile makes to all channels, not just that mobile session. For example, showrooming—a practice store retailers have generally disliked—often results in a boost in sales because an individual’s experience in one channel can lead to a purchase in another.”

Web Insights

Amazon has retained the top spot for online customer experience, followed by Adidas, L.L.Bean, Apple, Best Buy, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Vistaprint, Bed Bath & Beyond, Fanatics, Home Depot, Office Depot, Victoria’s Secret, Walmart, and Williams-Sonoma—who all achieved excellent scores on the 100-point FXI scale.

Nearly every retailer competes with Amazon in some way, regardless of channel. Eighty-four percent of store shoppers have purchased from Amazon in the last year, and 59 percent shop at Amazon at least once a month. But Amazon isn’t untouchable. Its FXI score is down one point year-over-year, with several speciality retailers close at hand.

Overall, web satisfaction has held steady with an average FXI score of 79. Customers that have great customer experiences online are:

  • 60 percent more likely to buy from the website
  • 58 percent more likely to buy from another channel
  • 64 percent more likely to buy similar merchandise from that retailer again
  • 64 percent more likely to recommend the retailer

Store Insights

Overall, satisfaction with store experiences lagged behind web and mobile, with an average FXI score of 78. Customers that have great in-store customer experiences are:

  • 50 percent more likely to purchase in-store
  • 60 percent more likely to buy similar merchandise from that retailer again
  • 74 percent more likely to recommend the store

The top store customer experience performers, who all received excellent FXI scores, are Saks Fifth Avenue, Apple, Lowe’s, Neiman Marcus, AT&T, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Ann Taylor, and Costco.

Notably, good store experiences are a tremendous contributor to purchasing in other channels. Customers are 75 percent more likely to make a purchase from that same retailer in another channel after a good in-store experience—a boon to store-first brands.

“It’s not just high-end stores like Saks that perform well,” Feinberg said. “Retailers such as Kohl’s and Costco are delivering on customers’ expectations of their brands, and the stores remain a frontline driver of brand perception and purchase intent across channels. In a shopping season where 86 percent of customers are spending as much or more than they did last year, the potential impact of store experiences on other channels is powerful.”

Download the complete 2016 ForeSee Experience Index at


The FXI applies ForeSee’s proprietary analytical methodology to a panel of 40,000 shoppers who browsed or purchased in web, mobile, and store channels during the 2016 holiday shopping season (November 4 to December 2). The result is a series of scores on a 100-point scale. A score of 80 is considered the threshold for excellence.

About ForeSee

ForeSee pioneered customer experience intelligence in 2001 and has become a recognized leader in Voice of Customer (VOC) solutions. The award-winning ForeSee CX Suite helps more than 2,000 companies worldwide — in retail, government, financial services, healthcare, consumer packaged goods, and other industries — transform their VOC programs into a strategic business discipline that delivers economic impact. Only ForeSee offers a rigorous approach to customer experience measurement, access to an unmatched 200 million benchmarked experiences, and actionable insights from a team of 200 expert analysts that give certainty to CX improvements. ForeSee is headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI and has offices in New York; Washington, DC; St. Louis; Cleveland; San Francisco; Vancouver; and London. For more information, visit

About the Author

As a pioneer in customer experience analytics, Verint delivers superior technology and proven methodology to connect the customer experience to the bottom line. The result is better business for companies and a better experience for consumers.

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