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Amazon Customers Are Less Happy Than They Were a Decade Ago. What Happened?

The company has surpassed Walmart as the largest retailer outside China, but its active customer base is getting frustrated.


Since 1994, Amazon has made a name for itself — and its founder Jeff Bezos — by prioritizing customer satisfaction, record-fast shipping times included.

FREDERIC J. BROWN | Getty Images

But that's changed over the decades. Consumers aren't as pleased with the retail giant as they once were, according to data reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Related: Amazon Is Huge Because It Started With A Great MVP

As of last year, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the world's largest retailer seller outside China, per The New York Times, bringing in more than $610 billion from June 2020 to June 2021 as demand rose during the pandemic.

But it appears Amazon hasn't been living up to its active customer base's high expectations.

WSJ shared a recent survey from investment firm Evercore ISI, which demonstrated that the number of customers who said they were "extremely" or "very satisfied" with Amazon has decreased significantly, from a peak of 88% nearly a decade ago to 79% in 2022.

Similarly, per the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which records shopper approval at more than 400 of the largest companies in the U.S., Amazon scored 78 out of 100, down from 86 out of 100 five years prior.

What's going on?

Several factors could be contributing to the decline in customer satisfaction, analysts and former employees told WSJ, including customer service issues and search-results struggles. Both problems may be compounded by Amazon's decision to open the platform to more third-party sellers and give top billing to advertisers who pay.

Although an Amazon spokesperson claimed that the company's customers are still highly satisfied, the retailer has attempted to improve the product-search process, using algorithms to create a more curated experience.

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