January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Survey Gives Web Retailing the Edge

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Consumers give Internet retail sites high marks in key areas of shopping, but lower ratings than traditional stores in customer service and credit card security. @plan Inc., an online market research company, reports that 83% of surveyed consumers find shopping online more convenient, 59% say they can find the best prices, 58% say it's easier to comparison shop, and 58% say they found what they were looking for. Yet 60% still favor the customer service they get in bricks-and-mortar stores, and 49% sense greater credit card security in the offline world.
     Overall, @plan concludes, Web merchants are gaining ground with consumers. "If these scores hold, traditional retailing will be in for a run for the money," says Mark K. Wright, CEO of @plan. "This is not good news for retailers without an active online presence. We may be witnessing the emergence of a two-tiered retailing world where consumers gravitate to the 'Net for convenience, price, and choice, but also shop traditional retailers when they want to be indulged with extra customer service."

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