Report: The #1 Retailer for Customer Satisfaction During the Coronavirus Pandemic


Good customer service is hard to find. And it appears the coronavirus pandemic has made that more true than ever. 

A new report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) shows that, since the pandemic began, shopper fulfillment has fallen in four of the five retail sectors the organization measures.

Those four sectors are:

  • Department and Discount Stores
  • Specialty Retail Stores
  • Supermarkets
  • Internet Retailers

The only retail category where customer satisfaction remains unchanged from a year ago is drug stores, according to an ACSI news release.

Report: Here Are the Best Retailers During the Pandemic

The results of ACSI’s special COVID-19 retail study are based on surveys collected from April 1 to September 30, 2020.

“From the onset of COVID-19, consumer expectations of retailers took a massive hit,” David VanAmburg, ACSI managing director, says in the release. “Customers braced for delayed packages, empty grocery store shelves, and hard-to-find name brands. Of course, just because they expected this, doesn’t mean they were thrilled about it. As customer satisfaction slips, retailers must adapt to the new market. It’s clear they have their work cut out for them.”

Here are some key findings from the report, which scores on a 100-point scale:

  • Costco scored top marks in both the department/discount store and internet retail categories.
  • The internet retail sector suffered the sharpest plunge, falling 4.9% for an ACSI score of 77. 
  • Specialty retail stores saw a 2.6% downturn yet scored a 76, which ties it with drug stores.

Let’s look at the customer satisfaction scores for department and discount stores.

Top Department and Discount Stores for Customer Satisfaction During COVID

Retailers April-September 2020 ASCI Score
Costco 81
Belk 79
Dillard’s 79
Kohl’s 79
Nordstrom 79
Sam’s Club (Walmart) 79
Macy’s JC Penney 78
BJ’s Wholesale Club 77
All Others 76
Target 76
Department & Discount Stores 75 (Average)

Now let’s look at how Amazon, Etsy and other internet retailers scored, according to ACSI.

Top Internet Retailers for Customer Satisfaction During COVID

Retailers April-September 2020 ASCI Score
Costco 80
Etsy 80
Nordstrom 80
Kohl’s 79
Newegg 79
HP Store 78
Nike 78
Amazon 77
Best Buy 77
eBay 77
Internet Retail 77 (Average)

Final Thoughts

It’s a fact of life that shoppers may have to adjust their expectations as retailers continue to pivot their businesses to operate amid the pandemic.


Here are some ways you can continue to get the most out of your shopping experience and save money in the process:

  • Shop generic: Quantities may be limited when it comes to name-brand items you enjoy.
  • Comparison shop: Don’t forget to check competitors’ prices and see if your favorite retailer will price match.
  • Call ahead: Before you drive to the store for an item, call first so you can be sure it has what you need in stock.

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