RealTime IT News

NetRatings, Harris Interactive Team Up

Web audience measurement firm NetRatings Inc. and Internet market research firm Harris Interactive Inc. teamed to launch a new research service focused on the e-commerce industry.

The service, called eCommercePulse, will cover online consumer spending, behavior and attitudes and will integrate data collected from Harris Interactive's survey panel of more than seven million online users with data and insights from the Nielsen//NetRatings audience measurement panel.

And in the first findings from the new service, the companies reported that brick-and-mortar e-tailers, while making the largest growth in shopping visits during the recent holiday shopping season, ranked lower in customer satisfaction than their Internet pure play counterparts.

The eCommercePulse results, collected from an online survey of 30,000 Web users in December, found that among the most visited e-tailing, travel and auction sites, customer satisfaction ranked highest among Internet pure plays. Seven out of the top ten sites ranked by customer satisfaction were Web-only based companies, with Amazon.com leading the way, followed by Half.com and Expedia.

The companies said eCommercePulse is "the first single-source e-commerce intelligence service for merchants, investors and suppliers," covering more than 300 e-commerce sites across 14 key vertical markets. It will provide monthly reports on e-commerce behavior, trends and spending (both online spending and off-line spending that result from online shopping).

In addition, eCommercePulse provides companies with a platform of pre-screened Harris Poll Online consumers that can be tapped for follow-on customized research. The markets covered by the service include Books, Music, Video, Clothing & Apparel, Computer Hardware & Peripherals, Computer Software, Consumer Electronics, Fitness & Sports Equipment, Health & Beauty, Travel Services, Auctions, Flowers, Gifts & Cards, Home & Garden, and Toys.

"eCommercePulse tracks an unprecedented level of online purchase behavior, including dollars spent online and off-line, customer satisfaction and demographic profiles," said Dave Toth, CEO of NetRatings.

The customer satisfaction findings released today showed that on a scale of 1 to 10, the average customer satisfaction rate across 264 sites analyzed was 7.77. Traditional e-tailers making the top 10 customer service rankings were Barnes and Noble, Hallmark and JCPenney. Others in the top 10 were eBay, Biy.com, CDNow and eToys.

Traditional mass merchandisers rounded out rankings No. 16-20, with Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, Target.com, Sears.com and BlueLight.com scoring average customer satisfaction ratings ranging from 7.60 to 7.35.

"While brick-and-mortar companies have been able to achieve huge growth by bringing their off-line customers online, they are also introducing many customers to online purchasing for the first time," said Sean Kaldor, vice president of e-commerce at NetRatings. "By comparison, Internet pure plays have a more established online customer base, one that is more comfortable with the online buying process."