Survey: Consumers Find E-Commerce Sites Fall Short

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Consumer satisfaction with multichannel retailers' e-commerce sites does not measure up to expectations, according to survey results released yesterday by Millard Group Inc., Peterborough, NH.

The findings came from the firm's latest quarterly Online Multichannel Survey conducted by its Decision Direct Research division for the quarter ended May 31. Thirty-five multichannel merchants participated, generating 50,000 completed customer surveys.

The results found that 79 percent of respondents said e-mail order verification was very important, but 63 percent rated their satisfaction level as excellent. The ability to view an item in a selected color was very important to 73 percent while 44 percent said the sites provided excellent levels of satisfaction. A zoom to enlarge feature was very important to 71 percent, yet 44 percent said their satisfaction rating was excellent.

Other Web site features that fell short of 100 percent in excellence were:

· Item received matched online description (50 percent).

· Products described accurately online (45 percent).

· Inventory status is readily available (45 percent).

· Products shown clearly online (44 percent).

· Ability to quickly find the product desired (40 percent).

Scores decreased from the previous year's survey in the categories of receipt of timely notification of order status and merchandise in stock when ordered. These ratings fell 2 percentage points to 63 percent and 4 points to 49 percent, respectively.

Scores increased in the areas of easy returns and reasonable shipping and handling charges. Those scores rose 4 points to 46 percent and 5 points to 31 percent, respectively.

Of the 50,000 respondents, 40 percent said they were very likely to visit a Web site after receiving a catalog, and 35 percent said they were likely to do so after receiving an e-mail. Also, 56 percent said they liked the online version of the catalog when offered.

Kristen Bremner covers list news, insert media, privacy and fundraising for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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