Exceptional customer service propels drugstore.com into the No. 1 slot in the Health category of the latest PowerRankings announced today by Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR). Forrester PowerRankings combine survey data from online consumers and unbiased shopping tests to provide objective rankings of the leading eCommerce sites. Following drugstore.com are more.com, PlanetRx.com, MotherNature.com, Vitamins.com, VitaminShoppe.com, and HealthCentralRx.com.

“drugstore.com and more.com both offer consumers a wide variety of products and a quick, efficient online shopping experience,” said Tom Rhinelander, senior analyst at Forrester Research. “But drugstore.com comes out on top because of its excellent customer service, full-featured Web site, and reliable delivery.”

PlanetRx.com trails the leaders but offers consumers many ways to find products, real-time inventory information, and the ability to save multiple health profiles. Fourth place MotherNature.com has an inconsistent shopping experience. For example, it allows customers to track orders online, but its search engine often misses relevant products.

“Except for drugstore.com and more.com, most of the health sites offer a limited product selection, focusing on vitamins and some all-natural products like toothpaste,” said Rhinelander. “In addition, most of them also lack features common in top consumer eCommerce sites, like online order history and customer reviews of products.”

Vitamins.com is in fifth place. It offers the best shipping price for any US order — free — but it is hindered by an unclear return policy and the absence of features like an address book. VitaminShoppe.com has speedy customer service but lacks images for most products and inventory information. Coming in last, HealthCentralRx.com, the sister site of Vitamins.com, offers the shortest return policy and extremely poor customer service.

For the updated PowerRankings, Forrester surveyed 19,000 consumers from Greenfield Online’s 600,000-person online panel. These consumers identified the most recent eCommerce sites that they purchased from and rated their experiences. A team of Forrester shoppers then evaluated the shopping experience for sites with a statistically valid number of consumer respondents, performing a series of rigorous tests in six areas. The consumer data and Forrester shopper scores were then synthesized and weighted, with consumer views accounting for two-thirds of the overall PowerRanking. A complete set of PowerRankings results — both consumer and Forrester shopper data — are made available to all ranked companies for no charge.

In the coming weeks, Forrester will be announcing results in additional PowerRankings categories. Additional information about each of the categories, including a complete set of rankings and scores, can be found at the PowerRankings Web site — http://powerrankings.forrester.com.