Millard: Product Quality Drives Consumers to Web

Product quality was the No. 1 reason consumers cited for shopping catalogers' Web sites, according to survey results released today by Millard Group Inc., Peterborough, NH.

As in previous surveys, the top three reasons to shop online were product quality (with 34 percent), price (26 percent) and selection (14 percent).

The findings come from the firm's latest quarterly Online Co-op Survey conducted by its Decision Direct Research division for the quarter ended Oct. 31. It included responses from 51,000 customers of multichannel merchants that are both clients and non-clients of Millard.

“The results from this survey show that online buyers, while savvy at comparison shopping and finding the best value, still look to direct marketing companies for superior merchandise,” Lilliane LeBel, vice president of Decision Direct Research, said in a statement. “It also says that if you have merchandise that meets these three criteria of quality, price and selection, you have a much greater opportunity of having a successful holiday season than otherwise.”

In terms of holiday shopping, 39 percent of respondents in October 2005 said they would spend the same amount as they did last year. That figure is down from July 2004 when 44 percent said they would spend about the same for the holidays as the previous year. In July 2003, the figure was 45 percent.

Fifteen percent of October 2005 respondents said they would spend significantly less this year than they did in 2004.

Though 86 percent of consumers said they had shopped a cataloger's Web site in reaction to receiving a catalog in the mail, the proportion who made their last online purchase with the catalog in front of them was down to 57 percent.

Sixty-three percent said they had shopped online in response to an e-mail.

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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