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Top 10 B2C Ecommerce Websites Face Tougher Criteria

Top-10 B2C eCommerce websites face tougher criteria aligned with increasingly demanding shopper behavior FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 26, 2011     

In conjunction with their 13th Annual 2010 Mystery Shopping Study the e-tailing group has released the Customer Experience Index results, leveraging quantitative analysis to uniquely understand how merchants stack-up against the e-tailing 100 websites (EG100), direct competitors, and their categories. Websites are scored on a 100-point scale based on an assessment of metrics on five key pages, presence and execution of vital merchandising tactics, and exemplary customer service.

“This year we adjusted our scoring, giving more emphasis to what shoppers truly want and need to shop electronically plus we updated the EG100, changing out 17 of the 100 sites seeking more sophisticated selling to evolve existing benchmarking efforts,” explains Lauren Freedman, President of the e-tailing group. “Interestingly this did not impact the average of all sites although there were some major shifts in standing among individual EG100 merchants. Six of the sites recognized last year are still on our top-ten list. New to this list are Orvis, Abt, and REI with Abt a new addition to the EG100 as well. Congratulations to all.” Top Performing Merchant and Biggest Gainers The average score achieved in 4Q’10 is 68.69, in line with 68.07 in 4Q’09. The highest score, attained by Orvis with an index 88.00, is a noteworthy increase of 18.52% over their index last year and well above the Sporting Goods average category score of 77.10. In addition to Orvis, five other sites garnered increases of 15% or more over their 2009 scores which supports the trend toward “raising the bar” per results of the complete mystery shopping survey. These merchants have taken great strides toward improving their ecommerce shopping experiences. Category Performance The e-tailing group Customer Experience Index was evaluated on a category basis for the thirteen product categories included in the e-tailing group Mystery Shopping Study. Mass Merchants post the highest score for four years running with a slight d1rop this year for the first time (78.97, 79.50, 78.00, and 75.13) reflecting their strong ecommerce investment. The Sporting Goods category (+15.67%) shows the highest year-over-year percentage increase while Office Supplies (-10.74%) registers the most significant decrease. Department Stores have also reversed a downward trend with a category increase of +14.21% over last year. Custom Indexing “The e-tailing group Customer Experience Index provides an affordable overview that can help merchants prioritize which features and functions need attention first as they plan profitable 2011 initiatives,” recommends Freedman. Merchants1interested in having their sites indexed or purchasing 4Q ’10 performance data should contact Lauren Freedman via email to LF@e-tailing.com or by phone at 773-975-7280. Deliverables include: Individual scorecard of a website against the e-tailing 100, selected category comparisons versus competitive sites; best practices and opportunities for improvement identified. The cost is $999 and there is a 4-week turnaround. About the e-tailing group, inc. The e-tailing group, inc. serves as the multi-channel merchant’s eye, bringing a merchant’s sensibility to evolving the multi-channel shopping experience. A Chicago-based consultancy, they provide practical strategic perspectives and actionable merchandising solutions to merchants selling online as well as to enabling technology firms. For more background about this research study, including a list of merchants surveyed or for additional information on the e-tailing group, inc. please contact Lauren Freedman at LF@e-tailing.com or visit the e-tailing group website www.e-tailing.com.

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