More Online Shoppers Are Less Satisfied

During the past year, consumers have grown more dissatisfied with the service they’re receiving from online stores, according to the June Online Multichannel Survey from Decision Direct Research, a division of list services firm Millard Group.

For instance, only 63% of the more than 50,000 online shoppers surveyed in may 2005 rated the sites they visited “excellent” in regards to timely e-mail notification of order status, down from 65% in January 2004. Yet 79% of respondents said that such notification was “very important” to them. Likewise, only 49% of respondents this year’s respondents gave sites an excellent rating regarding merchandise being in stock, down from 53%.

Respondents were also disappointed in their ability—or lack thereof—to zoom in on a product shot for a closer look. Whereas 71% deemed the feature very important, only 44% were satisfied with the availability of the zoom function on the sites they visited.

Regarding whether the item they received matched the online description, just half gave that attribute an excellent rating. A scant 40% rated the ability to quickly find the products they wanted as excellent.

Multichannel merchants have improved some aspects of their business, however. Regarding the ease of returning merchandise, 46% rated it excellent, up from 42% last year.

Among respondents, a print catalog was more likely to drive traffic to a Website than an e-mail. Forty percent said they were “very likely” to visit a Website after receiving a catalog, compared with 35% in response to an e-mail.