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Good Customer Service is Key to Capturing Holiday Shoppers

SAN FRANCISCO, – A new study released today by MarketTools, Inc., the leader in software and services for enterprise feedback management (EFM) and market research, revealed that providing a good customer experience, bolstered by good customer service, is do-or-die for retailers this holiday shopping season. According to the study, 60 percent of consumers said they shop more often at certain online sites because of a good shopping experience marked by good customer service, and 50 percent of shoppers said they shop more often at specific retail stores because of the good customer experience they offer.

Possibly more telling, 29 percent said they have stopped shopping at a specific retail store because of a bad shopping experience, and nearly a quarter have done the same with online retail sites. The primary factor for avoiding certain brick-and-mortar retail stores is unhelpful/unfriendly sales personnel (71 percent), followed by long lines or long wait time (41 percent), and quality issues with merchandise (39 percent). The main reasons shoppers cited for no longer returning to a shopping website were quality issues with the merchandise or damaged merchandise (46 percent), high shipping costs (43 percent) and shipping problems (37 percent).

What’s more, 84 percent of respondents said that they read reviews posted online by other consumers before purchasing a product, signaling the trend that social channels are increasingly influencing purchase decisions.

“The retailers who capture and analyze feedback from their customers to understand the drivers of a good shopping experience will reap the rewards this holiday shopping season,” said Greg Marek, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at MarketTools, Inc. “With many retailers counting on the holiday shopping season to bring in a sizeable percentage of their annual sales, it is critical that they obtain the customer feedback necessary to provide an enjoyable shopping experience, and ultimately increase sales through repeat business and referrals.”

Additional highlights from the MarketTools study include:

– When shopping at a particular store, the most important factors to consumers are: good prices (75 percent), quality and availability of merchandise (64 percent), and return/exchange policies (46 percent).

– When shopping at a particular website, the results are very similar, with ease of use also a factor: good prices (70 percent), quality and availability of merchandise (67 percent) and the site’s ease of navigation (55 percent).

– 6 percent of those surveyed plan to do 100 percent of their holiday shopping online, with more than half (56 percent) planning to do at least half of their holiday shopping online.

– 12 percent of respondents have posted comments about their shopping experience (either good or bad) on Facebook and/or Twitter.

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