This holiday season is poised to see a stronger bifurcation between retail's haves and have-nots. The strong are getting stronger, and the weak are getting weaker, as customer experience continues to play a greater role in their shopping needs.
So far, traffic has been lower-than-expected, noted Adrienne Yih of Wolfe Research, but there's still "a decent setup for 4Q16." As a result of consumers being pickier with the stores they visit, it's important for retailers, both mall-based and online, to give customers a reason to come back again and again.
"Customer satisfaction is a driver for higher earnings and the customer satisfaction data points are critical for helping boost earnings and a higher share price," said Phil Bak, CEO of ACSI Funds, which has $40 million in total assets under management.
Average spending per consumer fell year-over-year to $289.19 from $299.60, with founder and CEO of Amplify Investments Christian Magoon noting that consumers may have felt a "bit less urgency" in terms of making purchases this year as events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday get extended.
Thanks to high scores from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, companies like Amazon ( AMZN) , Apple ( AAPL) , L Brands ( LB) , Nordstrom ( JWN) and Dillard's ( DDS) may see a boost in sales this holiday season.
Amazon leads the Internet retailer space with an ASCI index score of 83, above the score of 80 for the group as a whole. The closest competitor is Newegg, with a score of 79.