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Online Clothes Shopping Unfulfilling: Study?

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Eighty percent of holiday shoppers using apparel-related brick-and-mortar sites were not satisfied or reported frustration with the online shopping process, according to a new study by Vividence, San Mateo, Calif., and Accenture, formerly Anderson Consulting.

The results of the study, which examined user reactions on 14 sites whose companies accounted for roughly 60 percent of total apparel sales, were announced Monday at the National Retail Federation's 90th Annual Convention & Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New York.

Although only 1 in 10 users reported dissatisfaction with their overall online holiday shopping experiences, and 70 percent said they would buy something online in January 2001, 72 percent of online apparel shoppers who had a negative experience said they would be unlikely to return to that particular site in the future.

The study reported that consumers were frustrated with site navigation, having trouble locating, among other things, information about sale prices, gift certificates and return policies.

"As the Internet evolves into a large-scale channel for retailers, they must be able to understand the customer's online expectations," said Artie Wu, ceo of Vividence.

The study also found that although consumers expected online promotions and incentives, nearly 40 percent did not find the promotions valuable and almost half found the shopping costs too high."