Retailers overall are doing a slightly better job at treating their customers online, compared to six months ago, a research group said Friday.
Overall, retailers earned a 7.0 score from the Customer Respect Group, up from 6.8 in April. Ten would be a perfect score in the Customer Respect Index, but any number over 8 is considered excellent.
Only two retailers reached that rating, Payless Shoe Source with 8.1 and CVS Corp., 8.0. Payless did especially well after giving its site an overhaul since the last rating, the CRG said.
In general, retailers scored much better in "responsiveness," ignoring only 9 percent of email inquiries versus 22 percent in the last study, the CRG said. In the collection and sharing of personal data, however, the companies didn't do quite so well.
Forty-five percent of retailers in the report shared data with business partners and third parties outside of the organization without the explicit permission of the customer, the CRG said. Some 72 percent of companies made no clear mention of how to delete information held, and 79 percent used the data for ongoing e-marketing.
Rounding out the top five retailers in the study were L.L. Bean, 7.9; Liz Claiborne Inc., 7.9; and Blockbuster, Dvd-empire and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., all 7.8.
The CRG bases its rating on an analysis of 53 major retail Web sites.