Recent studies have shown that only about half of the estimated 60 million people shopping online actually make purchases. NFO Interactive recently surveyed 1,905 U.S. consumers, 53% of whom said they would spend more at a particular Web site if it offered an incentive or loyalty scheme. Only 15% said these tactics wouldn't entice them.

What are the most popular tactics?

  • Free gifts or products (28%)
  • Airline miles (18%)
  • Gift certificates (16%)
  • Electronic cash (14%)

Over half of respondents said that they would provide personal information in exchange for discounts and rewards. The market segment most likely to give out personal information? Not surprisingly, the 35-and-under set, whose members are generally more comfortable with Internet technologies. Lee Smith, vice president of NFO Interactive, said, "Web site effectiveness was once measured by the number of hits. Today it's measured by purchases. Online consumers have the Gimme factor. That is, ' I'm here at your Web site. Now make it worth my while to buy something."

Initiating an incentive program is a good way to start building customer loyalty and retention, but it's not the only answer. The key is simple: know - and respond to - your audience's attitudes and needs. Creating a Web profiling system or conducting a survey can help you to do that more effectively.

Source: NFO Interactive
Copyright 1999 NetMarquee Inc.