Target ranked No. 1 U.S. discount retailer by customers in Harris Poll; 51% of customers who have shopped at a Target in last three months are highly satisfied with their experience, vs. 37% for Wal-Mart Stores, 24% for Kmart

November 23, 2011 () – The holiday shopping season officially kicks off this Friday with Target enjoying the highest overall Customer Relationship Index score compared to the other discount retailers, Walmart and Kmart. Target leads the way on all three of the core Relationship Index metrics – Rational, Emotional and Behavioral – which are all tied to customer loyalty and key business outcomes.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,499 adults surveyed online between November 7 and 10, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

The newly released Harris Poll Simple 7 Customer Relationship Index measures the strength of consumers' bonds with discount retailers and reflects the customers' connections and future intentions. Looking at the three elements, the first, rational, takes into account satisfaction and intention to recommend while the emotional aspect is determined by how valued a customer feels and their overall level of trust for that retailer. Finally, the behavior element explores a consumer's current shopping behavior as well as likelihood to continue shopping at the retailer. Together these metrics form the Customer Relationship Index.

Just over one-third (37%) of Walmart customers have a high degree of satisfaction (Extremely/Very Satisfied) with their experience. In contrast, half (51%) of those who have shopped at Target in the past three months, are highly satisfied with their Target experience.

"While satisfaction is important, it is just one measure of a customer's total relationship," said Mike Chadsey, Senior Consultant for Harris Interactive's Customer Relationship Consulting team. "A relationship is built on a combination of rational, emotional, and behavioral dimensions. Simple 7 was developed by Harris Interactive to measure the overall nature of customer relationships alone or in comparison to key competition through seven basic questions that determine the business's ability to capture the heart, mind, and wallet of customers.

"While Target maintains a healthy lead over Walmart in each aspect within the behavioral grid, something interesting is at work," continued Chadsey. "Given the lower rational and emotional scores for Walmart, one might expect to see a similar gap on the behavioral score. However, these results suggest that Walmart's appeal is based primarily on low price and makes them vulnerable to an improving economy and retailers like Target who are meeting customers' rational and emotional needs."

Beyond the retail stores, nearly three in ten Americans (28%) intend to do most of their holiday shopping online while one-in-ten (10%) do not intend to do any holiday shopping this season

TABLE 1
RATIONAL, EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCORES
Base: Shops at one of three discount retailers

 

Target

Walmart

Kmart

Rational Score

3.6

3.1

2.9

Emotional Score

3.3

2.8

2.8

Behavioral Score

3.5

3.2

2.7

Overall Score

3.5

3.1

2.8

Note: The scores are indices of the Simple 7 questions

 

 

TABLE 2
LIKELIHOOD TO CONTINUE TO USE
"How likely are you to continue to shop at [RETAILER] in the near future?"
Base: Shops at one of three discount retailers

 

Target

Walmart

Kmart

%

%

%

EXTREMELY/VERY LIKELY (NET)

65

59

34

   Extremely likely

34

32

14

   Very likely

31

27

20

Likely

26

25

37

NOT LIKELY (NET)

9

16

29

   Somewhat likely

8

15

22

   Not at all likely

*

1

7

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

TABLE 3
TRUSTWORTHY RELATIONSHIP
"How would you rate [RETAILER] at ensuring a trustworthy relationship with you?"
Base: Shops at one of three discount retailers

 

Target

Walmart

Kmart

%

%

%

EXCELLENT/VERY GOOD (NET)

38

24

19

   Excellent

11

7

6

   Very good

27

17

13

Good

45

34

42

FAIR/POOR (NET)

18

42

39

   Fair

16

29

28

   Poor

2

13

12

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; * indicates less than 0.5%


TABLE 4
VALUING YOU AS A CUSTOMER
"How would you rate [RETAILER] at valuing you as a customer?"
Base: Shops at one of three discount retailers

 

Target

Walmart

Kmart

%

%

%

EXCELLENT/VERY GOOD (NET)

42

28

20

   Excellent

13

9

6

   Very good

29

20

13

Good

42

32

42

FAIR/POOR (NET)

16

39

39

   Fair

14

27

27

   Poor

2

13

11

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; * indicates less than 0.5%

 

TABLE 5
OVERALL SATISFACTION
"How would you rate your overall satisfaction with [RETAILER]?"
Base: Shops at one of three discount retailers

 

Target

Walmart

Kmart

%

%

%

EXTREMELY/VERY SATISFIED (NET)

51

37

24

   Extremely satisfied

15

11

7

   Very Satisfied

36

26

17

Satisfied

41

35

45

SOMEWHAT/NOT AT ALL SATISFIED (NET)

8

29

31

   Somewhat satisfied

8

25

25

   Not at all satisfied

*

4

6

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; "-" indicates no response

 

TABLE 6
HOLIDAY SHOPPING
"Which of the following ways do you anticipate doing MOST of your holiday shopping this year?"
Base: Shops at one of three discount retailers

 

Total

Shopped at discount store

Target

Walmart

Kmart

%

%

%

%

Shopping in person at a store's location

61

63

63

65

Shopping online via a computer

28

29

25

24

Some other way

1

1

1

1

Shopping via telephone (call 800 number)

*

1

*

1

Shopping online via a mobile application

*

-

*

1

I do not anticipate doing any holiday shopping this year

10

6

10

8

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; "-" indicates no response

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between November 7 and 10, 2011 among 2,499 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

By Mike Chadsey, Senior Consultant, Customer Relationship Consulting Team, Harris Interactive

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

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