Retail and Customer Experience : News & Best Practices

What impact do sales have on customer satisfaction?

Regulated sales periods account for up to ⅓ of French retailers’ turnover and 80% of consumers take advantage of the low prices each year. But what impact do sales have on customer satisfaction? To find out, we analysed more than 74,000 customer reviews and satisfaction ratings from 6 major french brands, throughout 2016.

A peak in customer satisfaction during winter sales

The first finding is that seasonality seems to have little to no impact on customer satisfaction. In 2015 and 2016, the overall satisfaction score for French brands was 8.336/10 in winter, compared with 8.334/10 in summer. A difference of only 0.002 points.

Sales, on the other hand seem to have a much bigger impact. During the winter sales period, the overall customer satisfaction score in France was 9/10, compared to 8.27/10 during the summer sales and 8.39/10 in average over the year.

French consumers seem to be globally more satisfied by their purchase experience during the winter sales, and slightly less happy during the summer sales :

The number of customer dissatisfactions seems to confirm this trend. During the summer sales, 5.6% of customers shared a dissatisfaction, compared with 5.1% during the winter sales and 4.92% on average throughout the year.

Why is there an increase in customer satisfaction during the winter sales?

Among the reasons often used by customers to explain their satisfaction during this period, were : friendlier sales staff (12% of customers surveyed), better advice (7% of customers) as well as more choice (8% of unhappy customers compared with 11% in summer). 

Regarding online purchases, the quality of delivery rated slightly higher during winter sales with an average satisfaction rating of 8.27 / 10 compared to 7.67 / 10 during summer sales.

Happier customers but less likely to be brand promoters

At first sight, the winter sales period seems to be the ideal time to build loyalty among your customers. But a closer look at the NPS®* scores recorded over this period shows that although the average satisfaction level is higher, customers are less likely to recommend the brands they purchased from and are less likely to remain loyal.

During the winter sales period, only 58% of customers were found to be brand promoters, compared to 60% during the summer sales and 61% throughout the year.

*  NPS is a registered trademark, and Net Promoter System are service marks, of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Fred Reichheld.