Survey: Web Marketers Investing in Improvements

In its latest Mystery Shopping Study, conducted to coincide with the back-to-school selling period, Chicago-based e-commerce consultancy The E-tailing Group found a noticeable improvement in Website performance.

“Internet retailers have fine-tuned e-commerce sites to garner their share of back-to-school revenues,” E-tailing Group president Lauren Freedman said in a statement. “Online, merchants are investing to make it easier, faster ,and more convenient for customers to shop their Websites.”

Among the group’s findings:

* Overall time to shop dropped from 4.08 minutes last year to 3.24 minutes; the average number of clicks to checkout dropped from 4.93 to 3.76.

* 92% of the merchants offer keyword searches.

* 80% offer real-time inventory status.

* 75% suggest related products on both product pages and in shopping carts.

* Product comparison features are present on 40% of sites vs. 23% last year.

*-77% of sites offer opt-in options for e-mail compared with 61% last year.

* 84% offer gift certificates or cards compared to 78% last year

* 96% feature their privacy policies on the home page