Thursday February 25, 10:01 am Eastern Time

Company Press Release

New Study Finds That Cyber Shops and Shoppers Fail to Click

PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 25, 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, Barnes & Noble, Brainplay, Lands' End 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,'' contended 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 one site specified on the home page the minimum browser
     required 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 (24%) 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

--   24% of stores offer no pre-sale assistance and 32% 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 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
--   only 30% of sites offer information about product availability
     prior to submitting the order

The full study presents a company-by-company analysis with specific examples of best and worst practice. Click-Here Commerce is available for purchase from the U.S. office (tel: 650/473-6514) or London office (44-171-243-3438)

Note to Editors: An Executive Summary is available upon request.

     Shelley Taylor & Associates
     Shelley Taylor, 650/473-6514
     [email protected]

Newsbit furnished by:

A: NetShift Software Ltd.
A: Hughenden Yard, Marlborough, Wilts,SN8 1LT, UK
T: +44 (0)1672 511 094
F: +44 (0)1672 511 078
E: [email protected]

Thanks Anna!

Thanks Kinetic!

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