December 26, 2000, 9:55 AM

With only a few flaws in its online makeup, Clinique is still fun and easy to shop

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There are a few wrinkles to iron out, but Clinique.com is on the right track with its friendly services, dependability and good follow-through. Lack of promotional items is a negative, but other missing elements-crowds, hassles and pressure to buy-help compensate for that missing goody bag.

www.clinique.com

- Time to load home page: 9 seconds

- Time to move between pages: 10 to 23 seconds

- Total clicks to merchandise: 2 clicks

- Notable site features: Makeup consultation, an “express” function for experienced shoppers, beauty tips, travel quiz and a “what’s new” section.

- Ease of contacting company: Very easy. There is a “Corporate information” link on the home page. A locator service also finds the nearest store with a Clinique counter by zip code.

- Ease of ordering and paying for merchandise: No glitches here. Type in the quantity of the product desired, click to store it in a virtual shopping cart and click again to submit the order.

- Are privacy/payment policies clearly posted and explained: This is posted on the home page. Payment and privacy policies are listed in detail. Clinique says contact information is used for mailing free sample offers and will not be given to any third party without the consumer’s consent.

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