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Shopping websites

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What's behind our shopping website Ratings?

The Consumer Reports National Research Center comprises highly trained social scientists, including 9 Ph.D.s, using state-of-the-art techniques to survey more than 1 million consumers each year about products, services, health care and consumer issues.
We look for:
  • Reader score
    A score of 100 means all respondents were completely satisfied; 80 would mean very satisfied, on average; 60, fairly well satisfied; 40, somewhat dissatisfied.
  • Value
    Value for my money, considering price and quality
  • Quality
    Quality of the product purchased
  • Navigation
    Ease of navigating the website
  • Checkout
    Ease of the checkout process
  • Shipping
    Shipping and home delivery (e.g., shipping options, cost, handling and delays)
  • Customer support
    Customer support (FAQ's, email notifications, shipping trackers, live chat or phone support staff)

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If you're looking for information about shopping websites, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ reviews of shopping websites will give you honest buying advice based on Consumer Reports survey of readers about their online shopping experiences. Use our shopping websites buying guide to find out where to shop online. We also provide unbiased Ratings and shopping websites reviews to help you choose the best shopping websites for your online shopping needs.

Shopping website buying guide

Shopping website buying guide

No matter what a shopping website sells, it should provide value and quality, make shopping easy, deliver products on time, and provide good customer support. To see how online shopping websites stack up, we asked our readers about their experiences at 52 of the nation's largest shopping websites. We also checked out many of the websites to see what distinguishes great shopping sites from mediocre ones, and what you should expect when shopping online.

Overall, shopping websites received high marks. Survey respondents were highly satisfied with 84 percent of their purchases when visiting shopping websites. But not all sites made the cut. Lower-rated shopping websites were faulted for value, checkout, shipping and customer support.

Scores for quality, value, and price didn't always line up. For example, readers said that while the product quality at one shopping website was outstanding, that the value and prices at that same site were just okay.

The second biggest complaint among survey respondents about shopping websites overall was not knowing what their final cost would be until checkout. On 6 percent of visits, readers complained about not knowing the full cost until checkout.

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See also:
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See buying guide down arrow
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