By  on June 1, 2007,,, Barnes & Noble's and pet supply e-tailer are the top five Web sites in terms of customer satisfaction, according to the latest biannual study by ForeSee Results.

The study typically had focused on 40 of the top e-tailers by sales volume, as determined by Internet Retailer magazine. For the first time, however, the online satisfaction research firm has expanded its research to include the top 100 retailers in its "Top 100 Online Retail Satisfaction Index," produced in partnership with FGI Research, using the methodology of the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index. "We couldn't really get an idea of how well actual categories were doing, but with 100 companies, it's much more in-depth," said Larry Freed, president and chief executive officer of ForeSee Results. and tied for first, with strong customer satisfaction scores of 85 (out of a scale of 100), from the 20,000 respondents surveyed. The remaining top five were (83), (82) and (81).

In the apparel and accessories category, tied for first with, a leading online shoe retailer, each with a score of 79. Limited Brands' (77) came in third, while (75) and (74) rounded out the top five.

Said Freed: "These retailers are doing a great job. What's interesting about the leaders in this category is that we don't see that one business type to be the only one that works."

For example, is a top scorer, and it is primarily a catalogue company. is strictly online, and number-three-ranked is considered brick-and-mortar. Freed also stated, "What we have noticed is that bricks-and-mortars are definitely closing the gap and becoming more competitive in the online world. For retailers who have freestanding stores, Web sites and catalogues, it's a true multichannel solution — consumers see something on the site, go to the store and try it on and buy it. But the distinct challenge these companies face is keeping consistency of the shopping experience across those channels."

Though Americans are spending more money online on apparel and accessories than on any other product category, the study revealed that the category, along with computers/electronics, rates lower than any other in terms of customer satisfaction, including books/CDs/DVDs, specialty/nonapparel, food/drug and mass merchants.For mass merchants,, and were the top three., and all tied for fourth place with a score of 76.

Other retail Web sites in the study included nord- and, both at 73;,,, and at 72; at 71; and at 70, and at 69.

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