June 1, 2007, 12:00 AM

Keep the customer satisfied

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l Multi-channel shoppers are most satisfied when researching and purchasing online. Nearly one in three of online shoppers prefer online for both product research and purchase. This group of online-only shoppers was the most satisfied with a score of 79, leading shoppers who prefer to research purchases online and purchase in a store or catalog by 5% and those who prefer both researching and purchasing through a store or catalog by 10%.

l Price and convenience influence use of online channel. The leading reason multi-channel shoppers cited for their online purchase preference was the ability to compare prices (28%), while 22% said the reason was cheaper online prices, and 19% said online purchasing was more convenient.

l Increasing satisfaction with price doesn’t drive big increases in purchase intent. In spite of the previous point, the study found that only 5% of the top 100 retailers showed price as the foremost priority for improvement. This means that while consumers may report they like to compare prices online, improving prices will not have a large influence on overall satisfaction and purchase intent with a given retail site. Price is one part of a value perception and consumers don’t necessarily purchase from the retailer with the cheapest price.

All online retailers are faced with data overload. The challenge is to make the data meaningful by using metrics that are reliable, credible and forward-looking. Customer satisfaction and purchase intent are two key performance metrics that can provide a competitive differentiator to savvy online retailers.

Larry Freed is president and CEO of ForeSee Results.

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