Millard: Consumers Want Better Catalog Site Search, Descriptions

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Consumers think that the search options and product descriptions on catalog Web sites need work, according to results of a Catalog Online Co-Op Survey by list firm Millard Group Inc. released yesterday.


Of the 30,000 consumer respondents, 49 percent said the site they were surveyed about offered reliable, accurate search options and 43 percent said they could find the product they were searching for quickly. Fifty-one percent approved of the site's layout and ease of use.


As for product descriptions, 51 percent said they were satisfied with product descriptions on the site they bought from and 73 percent said a zoom feature to see larger product pictures was very important.


"With competition increasing all the time, and with online buyers becoming more sophisticated, it is easy to see how Web sites often no longer meet the online consumer's expectations," said Lilliane LeBel, director of marketing services at Millard, Peterborough, NH.


Overall, 61 percent were very satisfied with the merchandise they bought from the online catalog sites. That figure is up from 48 percent in the October survey. Respondents were customers of 23 participating catalog titles with Web sites.


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