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Survey ranks Apple best online electronics retailer

In a survey of 23,400 online users conducted by ForeSee Results, based on the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Apple ranked first place among online computer and electronics retailers and fourth place overall.

A report by Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune noted that in terms of customer satisfaction, Apple ranked fourth out of all the top 100 online retail sites, behind Netflix, Amazon, and Avon.

Apple was also ranked as one of the most improved, with its satisfaction score jumping 11% over last year. The brand added 8 index points to its score of 83 points out of 100. Among computer and electronics retailers, Apple edged out Newegg, last year's top site, as well as besting this year's other top online sites Tiger Direct, BestBuy, Dell, HP, and Sony, which all scored between 79 and 81 points.

Overall, online electronics retailers improved by an average of 4 index points (or 5%) over their year ago scores, reaching a collective score of 78.

ForeSee executive Larry Freed said the improvement was a reaction to the poor economy. "The state of the economy really forced e-retail to step up their game," Freed said.

"Since so much of the financial downturn was out of their control, companies turned to those things they could improve, and now they are reaping the benefits. Customer satisfaction is not a byproduct of a healthy economy. Instead, a healthy economy is a consequence of satisfied customers."

Freed said every point in improvement in his company's satisfaction index translates into an additional $89 million in sales.