They don't call it a Web browser for nothing. According to a recent survey of 25 top E-commerce sites, conducted by Net Effect Systems, 67% of the merchandise that customers "select" on-line is never actually purchased. Here's how those sites' responses to other survey questions came out:

Of the people who visit your site, how many actually make a purchase or become customers?

How many people who make a purchase actually purchase again?
Fewer than 10%

How do you position your E-commerce site against your competitors'?
Service/customer experience: 65%
Selection of goods: 20%
Branding: 15%

Do you have a Web-based customer-management system?
No: 90%
Yes: 10%

Do you have a method for finding out why customers leave the Web site before making a purchase?
Yes: 15%
No: 75%
Not sure: 10%

Is the responsibility for E-commerce customer experience (service and support) a full-time executive-level position?
No: 90%
Yes: 5%
We're considering it: 5%

Source: First Annual Survey on Ecommerce Service, June 1999, Net Effect Systems, N. Hollywood, Calif.