Holiday Web shoppers pleased

Contrary to some year-endreports, a survey of home Internet shoppers found consumerswere "very pleased" with their shopping experiences during theholidays, with 97 percent saying they would shop online again. Reston, Va.
Written by ZDNet Staff, Contributor
Contrary to some year-end reports, a survey of home Internet shoppers found consumers were "very pleased" with their shopping experiences during the holidays, with 97 percent saying they would shop online again.

Reston, Va.-based PC Data Online, a Web measurement service, and Goldman Sachs Tuesday said a survey that found more than 95 percent of the 4,742 shoppers surveyed after the holidays said delivery and exchange performance by Web retailers met or exceeded their expectations.

"Immediately after Christmas, we all heard horror stories of undelivered gifts and orders gone astray," said Cameron Meierhoefer, Internet analyst for PC Data Online.

"This study strongly suggests these instances were the exception rather than the rule," Meierhoefer said. "The bottom line is that a majority of home Internet users had a good experience."

The survey found less than 4 percent of consumers said Internet retailers did not meet their expectations and only 0.5 percent said retailers significantly underperformed.

The survey is part of a joint weekly study by Goldman Sachs' Web retailing analyst Anthony Noto and PC Data Online to measure behaviors, attitudes and satisfaction levels during the past holiday season.

Taking stock
According to PC Data, more than half of online shoppers surveyed said the items they chose for purchase were sometimes out of stock, and 8.6 percent said items were frequently or always out of stock.

Still, about 40 percent said items were never out of stock.

The survey also found that 60 percent of shoppers said their gifts were delivered on time, while another 16 percent said items were delivered earlier than expected and 18 percent said delivery was later than expected but still in time.

Almost 4 percent said the items were late and not in time, and 2 percent said they are still waiting for their items to be delivered.

More than 87 percent of shoppers said they did not intend to return items. Of those who did decide to return, 30 percent said the primary reason was that the item was broken, while 28 percent said the wrong item was shipped.

More than 69 percent of those returning an item said the process was easy or very easy, in comparison with 30 percent who said it was difficult.

The PC Data survey also found that 68 percent of respondents said they did not need to use customer service for the site. Of those respondents who did use customer service, about 27 percent said their experience with customer service was negative, while 48 percent said they had positive experiences.

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