FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shelley Taylor, US: 1-650/473-6514 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW STUDY FINDS THAT CYBER SHOPS AND SHOPPERS FAIL TO CLICK
PALO ALTO, CA, 25 February 1999…Landmark research on the current practices of the hottest online stores was released today by Shelley Taylor & Associates. Click-Here Commerce, an international study of the success factors of online stores, concludes that web shops should get back to basics and apply more of the traditional retailing knowledge of
land-based stores to their sites.
Click-Here Commerce, analyzes 50 consumer e-commerce sites representing a cross-industry sample including technology, entertainment, books & music, apparel, sports goods, travel and leisure. The 175 proprietary evaluation criteria used to analyze the content and activities that support online shopping, are destined to become the defining standard of successful electronic commerce. Sites that ranked highest in terms of content and store features were CDNow, Brainplay, Tower Records, Barnes and Noble, Brainplay, Lands' End, 1800-flowers and Blockbuster.
"Contrary to media hype, web commerce is not a revolution but an evolution in retailing. Online stores fail to translate the lessons learned from centuries of land-based retailing and merchandising into successful online shopping experiences for consumers," contends Shelley Taylor, managing director and author of the study. "Even though technology has changed, the way we humans process purchasing decisions has remained the same."
SIZZLE DOESN'T SELL
Such requirements such as the latest browser version, plug-ins, screen size and resolution, fast modem speed and RAM may actually discourage laptop users, those using older equipment and first time users from gaining entrance into the online store.
- only two of 50 companies provided a reduced bandwidth or text only-
- only one site specified on the home page the minimum browser recommended
for viewing the site
LOST IN SPACE...
Finding information and products is as important as the products themselves. Site navigation aids play a pivotal role in guiding the shopper through the store. Just as land-based stores use signage, kiosks, store directories and "you are here" maps to orient customers and direct them to specific departments, so should online stores.
- almost one-quarter (32%) of online stores lack global navigation,
which allows users to move between major sections of the top level of the site hierarchy, and only 8% of sites provided contextual navigation, the web-based equivalent of "you are here"
SHOW AND TELL
In the absence of live shopkeepers, web-based stores must make every effort to help customers make purchase decisions and buy products.
- 10% of stores offer no pre-sale assistance and 20% fail to provide purchase instructions
- while two-thirds of online stores offer some product specifications, only 12% provide third-party reviews and only one offered a features/benefits comparison
THE CART IS THE HORSE
The online shopping cart should pull the consumer through the buying process; instead they typically break down just when the customer really needs it. Shopping carts fail to take advantage of the low cost of pro-active selling opportunities such as cross-merchandising or the
ability to save carts for future shopping.
- only 8% of sites provide a current list of cart contents on each page
- only 34% of sites offer information about product availability prior
to submitting the order
The full study present a company-by-company analysis with specific examples of best and worst practice. Click-Here Commerce is available for purchase from the US office (tel:1-650-473-6514) or London office (44-171-243-3438) Editor's Note: An Executive Summary
is available to journalists only upon request.
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