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Online shoppers want a fresh, innovative experience

The fourth annual Allurent Holiday Online Shopping Survey found that just over half of the 591 consumers involved preferred sites that provided them with a unique and interactive shopping experience. Forty-five percent thought most sites had very little to differentiate them from others except by way of price and availability.

Among frequent online shoppers who buy products via the Internet three or more times per month, there was a propensity to purchase from innovative sites with unique features and fresh content. Dubbed 'power shoppers', this group of savvy shoppers has high expectations for their online shopping experience in terms of engagement and richness of content.

These expectations extend beyond content into usability aspects such as ease of navigation and an efficient checkout process.

"The survey makes clear that the majority of consumers are now very comfortable with e-commerce. The question retailers now must ask themselves is: 'What are we doing to meet the higher expectations of these sophisticated shoppers?'," said Graeme Grant, COO at Allurent.

"In 2009, I think we will see that those retailers who continue to innovate on their online shopping sites are the winners, while those who do not are left behind," added Grant.

by Helen Leggatt