Jordy Leiser and John Ernsberger hope to revolutionize online shopping by collecting data on the customer experience, reports Clare O’Connor in Forbes (9/23/13). Their company, StellaService, employs "mystery shoppers" who order and return items from thousands of online retailers, and track "300 or so metrics in 20,000 internet transactions each month. StellaService then sells these data back to companies like Sears – and, tantalizingly, their competitors." Those providing "good customer service" get a StellaService "seal of approval."
However, only about half of its clients – which include the likes of Amazon, Zappos and GiltGroupe and pay upwards of $100,000 for the data — get the seal. StellaService tracks things like "Twitter response time to shopper queries" and "speed at refunding returns." It also evaluates "package fit and quality." For example, StellaService flagged a package "big enough for a pair of hiking boots" that was used to ship a pair of earrings. "It’s frightening for some of these companies to see this," says Jordy. "If you’re the executives, the guys running the show, you don’t know what’s really happening on the ground."
StellaService also has a partnership with Google’s Trusted Stores initiative, which will display its data next to Google searches. "The data we receive will help give shoppers confidence that they are buying from online merchants that consistently provide a positive experience," a Google spokesperson says. Shoppers won’t have access to "high-level data, like the hundreds of photos of delivered packages taken daily." Jordy says the consumers mainly want "the punch line," such as whether the retailer has fast delivery. "Customers really don’t care if the average speed of delivery is 2.6 days or 2.9 days," he says. "The businesses do care, though."