Survey: 85% of Online Buyers Happy With Experience

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Eighty-five percent of online buyers have been very or somewhat satisfied with their buying experience this season, according to the third installment of the Shop.org/BizRate.com 2002 Online Holiday Mood Study, released Friday.


In addition, 47 percent of online retailers said that the time it takes to fulfill a customer's order has significantly or slightly improved from last year, according to the survey.


The survey is the third of four installments. It represents the buying period of Dec. 1-14 and includes data from 58 Internet and multichannel retailers -- all Shop.org members.


In the first two weeks of December, 35 percent of retailers posted revenue increases of 50 percent or more compared with the same period last year, the survey said, and 61 percent posted gains of 25 percent or more.


Because the majority of online shopping has already taken place this holiday season, satisfaction rates and fulfillment time data are particularly significant. As of Dec. 17, 26 percent of consumers polled had finished their holiday shopping and 43 percent were 75 percent to 99 percent done, the report said.


"Retailers have worked very hard to improve the online buying experience for their customers," said Scott Silverman, executive director, Shop.org. "This has ultimately paid off in increased sales and helped to propel online retailing into the mainstream."


The Online Holiday Mood Survey also asks retailers to report which marketing and promotion efforts are most successful. Sixty percent cited free shipping with conditions as their most successful promotion for driving business. Offline/online sales (22 percent) and online-only sales (21 percent) are a distant second and third at moving merchandise. E-mail (74 percent) and search engine placements (28 percent) continue to hold the top spots as vehicles for communicating promotions.


Once a customer arrives at their site, retailers in the study said, featured sale item pages (48 percent) and product promotions (40 percent) are most likely to result in an online sale.


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