More than one-third of holiday shoppers preferred to both research and buy products online, according to a survey by ForeSee Results, an Ann Arbor, MI-based customer satisfaction measurement and management firm. These shoppers were also the most satisfied with their online experience, with a satisfaction score of 78 out of 100.
Another 17% of the shoppers surveyed said they preferred to both research and purchase offline, either in a store or a catalog. They were also the least satisfied with their e-commerce experience, averaging a satisfaction score of 72.
Fifteen percent of respondents preferred to do research on a company’s Website before making a catalog or store purchase, while 7% said they research products in a store before making the purchase online.
Larry Freed, president/CEO of ForeSee Results, says the survey results reflect advances in technology that are making consumers more willing to shop online than in the past. For example, product reviews on consumer Websites and alternate views of products are encouraging more customers to research and shop on the Web.
“Shoppers who prefer to shop and research in the store expect the Web to be a window onto the offline world,” Freed adds. “They assume that they can go online and find out which merchandise is available offline and how much it costs in the store. If they notice discrepancies, or if their customer service needs aren’t met, their satisfaction will suffer.”
The survey is based on approximately 10,500 responses collected from Nov. 28 to Dec. 19, 2006 from consumers who had visited a leading retail Website within the previous 14 days.