Millard Finds Higher Online Holiday Shopping Satisfaction, Problems

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Online holiday shoppers' satisfaction level reached 51 percent for the 2004 season compared with 46 percent in the previous year, according to a study released yesterday by Millard Group Inc., Peterborough, NH. However, the percentage of problems reported also increased.


The satisfaction increase was tempered by a rise in confusion with the Web site and/or order process, which climbed from 9 percent in 2003 to 15 percent in the 2004 holiday season. Web site slowness or site outages increased to 12 percent versus 8 percent in 2003. Unavailability of items from print catalogs online also was 12 percent in 2004, up from 9 percent.


The Post-Holiday Online Co-op Survey was conducted by Decision Direct Research, a division of Millard. It included 53 catalogers and 70,000 completed surveys from online customers who shopped from the catalog Web sites between October and December.


Also, 24 percent of holiday shoppers said the Internet made comparison shopping easier, up from 22 percent in 2003. Customers said they visited an average of 2.5 Web sites to compare products before making a purchase.


The proportion of respondents who said they shopped with catalog in hand declined from 59 percent in 2003 to 46 percent. And the 75 percent who said receiving a catalog prompted their online shopping was also down from 84 percent in 2003. Millard said users' increased comfort online and better search capabilities might account for these drops.


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


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