With all the pressure today on in-store brands to perform, online reputation management tech firm Reputation.com recently released its 2017 Retail Reputation Report, revealing which retailers lead—and which lag—on the aspects of in-store experience most frequently cited by consumers in online reviews, including wait times, quality of service, value, staff competence and other key customer satisfaction factors.
The report gives in-store retailers systematic insights into their strengths and opportunities for improvement, based on consumer reviews on the web—and equips shoppers with useful tips as they head into the holiday shopping season.
Reputation.com applied machine learning and sentiment analysis to more than 400,000 reviews that consumers posted on the web about their in-store shopping experiences at over 8,000 locations owned by 28 marquee retailers nationwide in categories including cosmetics, apparel, athletic gear and home improvement.
Two retail categories—clothing and accessories, as well as toys and hobbies—are expected to command more than 40 percent of holiday gift spending for 2017.
The most highly-rated retailer in the study?
The LEGO Store ranked number one for in-store experience, with over 4.5 stars. In fact, consumers rated LEGO well over 4 stars in eight out of nine categories of shopping experience: value, service, wait times, cleanliness, convenience, product availability, staff competence, and parking, facilities and amenities (with a perfect 5.0).
Not all toy stores are created equal, though. While toy and baby stores earned four of the top ten slots in the study, the heritage toy retailer Toys”R”Us was ranked far lower when it came to overall shoppers’ satisfaction score, at No. 23.
Among apparel retailers, Athleta (by Gap) led with 4.39 stars overall, due largely to consumers’ ratings of its staff, product availability, parking, facilities and amenities. Lululemon (4.38) and Nordstrom (4.32) were close behind, largely due to their teams’ abilities, though they got more complaints about wait times. And while Hugo Boss (3.63) did extremely well on staff competence, consumers weren’t happy with the stores’ managers.
Stores included in the report include: Athleta, Gymboree, The Home Depot, Justice, Nike, Nordstrom, Sephora, The LEGO Store, Toys”R”Us, TJ Maxx and others.