Searching for Satisfaction

E-tailers that help online shoppers save time and money are likely to improve customer satisfaction, according to research from ForeSee Results that demonstrates the influence of shopping search engines on consumer behavior.

“Consumers clearly grasp the advantages of shopping search, but merchants reap great benefits as well. Shopping search engines provide them with a large quantity of qualified shoppers who turn into highly satisfied online buyers that are likely to return again and again,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results.

The survey, conducted live on DealTime.com with over 1,100 consumers during the 2002 holiday season, found that the majority of online shoppers use shopping search engines to save time (54 percent) and money (52 percent), and those that compare prices are 22 percent more satisfied with their buying experience than those who don’t.

Furthermore, the study shows that those using shopping engines to compare prices quickly are 24 percent more likely to shop online in the next two months, 25 percent are more likely to shop online next holiday season, and 26 percent more likely to recommend online shopping to others.

Freed attributed the increase in e-commerce loyalty to consumers’ need to reward organizations that provide significant value to their shopping experience and a high level of satisfaction with their future purchasing activity. Also, satisfied shoppers are more likely to leverage the immense referral power of the Web.

ForeSee’s research revealed that almost three-quarters (73 percent) of e-consumers used a shopping search engine to compare prices quickly, followed by compare products (54 percent) and find stores that sell those products (45 percent).

Other reasons that were cited for using a shopping search engine were: lower risk of making a bad purchase (28 percent); to find the most popular products (27 percent); narrow product choices (25 percent); compare the reputations of online stores (25 percent); research offline purchases (20 percent); and make trade-off between price and store reputation (17 percent).

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