Costco Emerges as Consumer Favorite While Amazon Love Wanes

(Bloomberg) -- Costco Wholesale Corp. may be a latecomer to e-commerce, but consumers love it even more than Amazon.com Inc., according to a customer satisfaction survey released Tuesday.

The warehouse shopping club scored 83 on the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index, edging out Amazon’s score of 82. Amazon had topped the category since 2010, but its score slipped four points compared with a year ago. This is the first time the survey included Costco in its internet retail category.

The survey attributed Costco’s ascent to a same-day delivery partnership with Instacart and a new online grocery delivery service. Groceries are a large consumer category that Amazon has struggled to penetrate. The e-commerce giant purchased Whole Foods Market in 2017, giving it a brick-and-mortar presence to help sell more food.

The report reinforces the importance of groceries to web shoppers. Groceries represent $840 billion in annual U.S. spending, with Walmart Inc. the leading player.

Amazon slid partially due to its acquisition of Whole Foods, which is common when customers see their experience disrupted when a company is taken over, said David VanAmburg, manager director of the survey firm. Amazon also lost points as it transitioned more of its deliveries from longtime partners like United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. to a network of independent contractors, he said.

“All of a sudden, people’s Amazon packages are arriving in U-Haul rental trucks or some random van rather than the UPS guy or the mailman,” VanAmburg said. “We did see some slippage on shipping and fulfillment and getting things there on time.”

Costco Emerges as Consumer Favorite While Amazon Love Wanes

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