January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Web Stores Follow Herd, Fail to Customize Shopping

Many e-retailers are missing prime opportunities to build relationships with their customers by differentiating among categories of customers or personalizing what customers see on their screens, according to research by the Peppers and Rogers Group. Financial service and travel/hospitality sites outperform most retail sites, the firm says.
     The firm, which looked at Web sites across eight industries, found that Web marketers tend to copy their direct competitors, without learning about techniques useful in other industries. Among the firm's recommendations: Make sure the customer never has to input the same information twice, including sizes and preferences.
     The Stamford, Conn.-based firm's full report will be released in January, it says.

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