Study Finds Online 'Window Shoppers' Motivated By Price, Privacy

Three million people will purchase online for the first time by the end of this holiday season, according to a national survey conducted by NFO Interactive, a provider of research-based marketing information. That will push the number of online U.S. households to more than 27 million. According to the survey of 4,523 online customers, 80% of those who "window shop" online would be persuaded to make a purchase by bigger discounts. Other enticing factors: assurance of privacy, ability to return a product to a physical location, and real-time customer support. Many people included in the study (60% of those who have made an online purchase) said they type in the desired URL directly as opposed to using bookmarks or search engines. This proves that retailers are in a position to use their stores to promote their Web sites while using their Web sites to advertise their stores, notes Tim Washer, director of research for NFO Interactive. Also reported: 14% of those surveyed who made a purchase online found the Web site via a banner ad with a link. The study is entitled Online Retail Monitor: Branding, Segmentation & Web Sites. It is the first in a series of online retail studies that will be conducted every six months by NFO.

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