Retailers Ahead of Curve in Understanding Online Customers and Providing Best Shopping Experiences

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Industry leader Usability Sciences ( gives retailers high marks.

Retailers are taking the lead in recognizing the importance of website usability and the overall online customer experience, industry leader Usability Sciences said today, as the Internet Retailer Web Design '08 conference opened here.

Usability Sciences, the leading provider of quality customer experience solutions, said that its own client evaluations and industry research both show that retailers are "getting it" better than most other industry segments when it comes to their online businesses.

Scott Kincaid, Vice President of Usability Practices for Usability Sciences, explained that retailers clearly are taking their online presence more seriously than other industries, and it is paying off.

"We have worked with some of the top national retailers for years, helping them incrementally improve their end-to-end customer experiences," Kincaid said. "Retailers' emphasis in this area is reflected in the fact that they generally employ sophisticated in-house departments that are responsible, and accountable, for user experiences. Our work with these retailers enhances their efforts with an outside-in approach that helps boost sales."

Kincaid also pointed to a November 2007 Forrester Research report titled Customer Experience Index Snapshot: Retail that recognizes retailers' strong position. The independent research organization surveyed consumers about their online experiences across nine different industries, including retail. The report stated "Retailers represented nine of the top 10 firms in the overall rankings. That's why retailers, as a group, ended up with the top (Customer Experience Index) of 78 percent."

"The retailers on the list did a great job compared to firms in other industries. But they shouldn't be complacent; there's still a lot of room for improvement, especially when it comes to enjoyableness. Firms should start by looking at how well they did versus their direct competitors," noted Bruce D. Temkin with Forrester Research.

"The best online customer experiences are the result of truly understanding who the customers are and what they want when they visit your website," Kincaid explained. "With our 20 years' experience in exploring customer attitudes, intentions, and desires, through online, lab, and field tests, we know when a company's website is in sync with its customers. At this point, it is retailers who are best at understanding what is at stake and refining their sites accordingly."    

About Usability Sciences
For nearly 20 years Usability Sciences ( has been helping clients discover the intents, attitudes and behaviors of their customers so they can leverage the power of their online presence across all customer channels. Hundreds of the largest global multi-national, multi-channel companies have chosen Usability Sciences to increase sales and conversion rates, improve brand loyalty, and differentiate themselves from competitors.

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Eric Feige
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