Among retail companies, the average US Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) score in 2022 came in at 73.8 (on a 100-point scale) — down from 74.5 in 2021. But retailers also captured four of the top 11 spots across all sectors — and in several cases beat their 2021 scores (sometimes handily). The US CX Index measures how successfully a company delivers customer experiences that create and sustain loyalty. For retailers and brands, in 2022, we saw that:
- Grocery dominated the top 20 retailer list. Grocery is massive: We forecast that total US retail spending for food and drink this year will reach $1.1 trillion — that’s more than double the next largest category (tools and home improvement).
Like in 2021, HEB, Trader Joe’s, Publix, Wegmans, and Costco Wholesale held on to five of the top 10 retailer spots on the US CX Index. That’s remarkable given supply chain issues and staff shortages across sectors, including grocery. In May 2022, 83% of US online adults told us that grocery is where they’ve noticed higher prices in the past six months — putting more pressure on all grocers to deliver good customer experiences this year.
- Digitally native retailers captured two of the top five spots across all sectors. Chewy.com is (again!) this year’s US CX Index top spot winner — both among retailers and across sectors. The company sees its 24% net sales growth in 2021 as testament to “the durability of [its] business and the Pet category beyond the near-term benefits of the pandemic” and its “ability to execute in the face of rapidly evolving macro conditions,” per CEO Sumit Singh. Initial 2022 results have been positive also.
Etsy (number two among retailers and number four overall in the 2022 US CX Index rankings) announced in Q2 2022 that its focus is on being “more inspirational, efficient, and reliable to [its] buyers” while “offer[ing] more agency and scalability to [its] sellers.”
- Zappos.com, QVC, and IKEA improved their scores statistically significantly. Amazon-owned Zappos.com improved markedly from 76.1 in 2021 to 78.6 in 2022, leaping from 12th to fifth place among retailers. Qurate Retail Group-owned QVC jumped to 75.0 in 2022 from 71.1 in 2021 — even in the midst of a “turnaround” that’s underway this year, including “restructured […] organization and leadership of the QVC US and HSN brands,” per CEO David Rawlinson. And affordable home furnishings giant IKEA in 2022 earned a score of 74.3, vaulting it to 17th place among retailers, up from 32nd place in 2021.
Cultivate and grow your “Devotee” customers. Devotees feel more emotionally connected to brands, help acquire new customers by recommending the brand to friends and family — and generate more revenue than other customers. For retailers, the average annual revenue per customer is $1,855 for devotees — or 109% more than for non-devotees ($886 average annual revenue). With supply chain issues, labor shortages, inflation, and other systemic risk factors still very much in the mix, retailers and brands must prioritize and invest to grow these super-loyal customers.
To identify and foster:
Current devotees, savvy retailers will build their CX measurement strategy by:
- Incorporating four specific questions into existing customer relationship surveys:
- Likelihood to forgive a mistake that the brand makes
- Likelihood to consider the brand for their next purchase
- Likelihood to consider the brand for additional products/services
- Willingness to pay a premium for the experience
- Using brand and experience metrics to identify what their devotees love.
- Conducting targeted qualitative research.
More (new) devotees, wise retailers must expand their CX measurement strategy by:
- Implementing new data collection tools to find customers who are on the cusp.
- Exploring other available behavioral metrics.
- Using relevant brand and experience metrics to understand their devotees.
Want to learn more about the US CX Index results for retailers — and how to cultivate your devotee customers? Please schedule an inquiry and read the related research listed below.