Low prices are no longer the top reason why shoppers opt to buy online these days, a survey finds.
Selection and product information are, according to ForeSee's 2011 Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction index.
"The aggressive promotions and discounts helped sales, but consumers wanted more from retailers," says Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee, a customer experience analytics firm, USA Today reports.
Other experts agree that price is losing ground to selection.
But when it comes to pricing, free shipping takes top priority.
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"When we last measured it about a week ago, 56 percent of all online transactions involved free shipping," says Andrew Lipsman, vice president of industry analysis at ComScore, an online research firm.
The figure represents a 50 percent increase over numbers in recent years, Lipsman adds.
The ForeSee survey finds that among the top 40 online retailers, Amazon rates the best in consumer satisfaction.
Avon, J.C. Penney, QVC and Apple performed strongly in the survey as well.
One bricks and mortar icon in the American retail segment, Sears, is closing stores.
Sears Holdings Corp. will close 120 Kmart and Sears discount and department stores due in part to weak holiday sales.
Analysts blamed weak merchandise selection and poor location choice for stores.
"They've neglected this business for so long," independent retail analyst Brian Sozzi said, adding that he expects more closings, according to Reuters.
"They are letting Kmart and Sears die on the vine."
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