Brands Fall Short in Retaining Online Shoppers

NEW YORK-Despite the fact that more consumers than ever are using the Internet to research purchases, and that more consumers actually are shopping online, many brand marketers still are ignoring opportunities to connect with their customers.

“A significant number of brands do not effectively promote their Web addresses on packages or magazine ads-the two places consumers are most likely to look for the URL-and do not offer promotions, recipes or free samples, which rank as the top three priorities for online consumers visiting these sites,” according to a survey released on Monday by Forrester Research, Cambridge Mass.

Beyond these shortcomings, most sites contain lifestyle content “that is of little interest and that often is unrelated to the product.” In addition, more than half of the Web sites visited by Forrester have yet to offer consumers a viable feedback mechanism for ideas or complaints.

The survey recommends that brand marketers conduct more effective online strategies, “if for no other reason than to maintain brand and customer loyalty. These brands should focus their online spending on an informative site, sponsorships and interactive ads to meet consumers’ specific, solution-oriented goals.”