Direct Marketing, Mail Order, and E-commerce News from the National Mail Order Association

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Decision Direct Research Survey Finds Web Sites Still Lacking Unique Products

 
Survey Indicates Performance Ratings Show Some Improvement,
But Also Some Deterioration

infoUSA(R) (NASDAQ:IUSA), the leading provider of proprietary business and consumer databases and sales leads, today announced the most recent Decision Direct Research quarterly Online Co-op Survey focused on Site Navigation and Usability as experienced during the first quarter of the year by consumers, with some surprising results regarding customer expectations.

"According to the survey, we see growing use of the Internet for repeat online orders," said Lilliane LeBel, vice president of Decision Direct Research, a division of Millard Group, Inc.

Results showed that more than 53% of customers placed an online purchase during the past quarter, and that these consumers indicated they placed three or more orders online from a specific catalog site during the past 12 months. This is an increase of 6% from the Navigation and Usability study conducted in Spring 2005.

This Decision Direct Research survey also showed some shifts in what online buyers consider to be important. For example, the "shopping cart" being saved upon exiting the site increased in importance from 48% in 2005 to 56% in 2006. Consumers wanting to receive an email reminder that they still have items in their shopping cart increased from 22% to 24%.

Online buyers also felt that multi-angle product views are more important, rising from 48% to 53% over the past year. Participating multi-channel merchants also learned for the first time the importance of product reviews, ability to compare similar products, and personalized content.

Those consumers giving an "Excellent" score to various parts of their online shopping experience decreased in several areas with this research survey, however, including "Merchandise in Stock" which went from 49% in 2005 to 44% in 2006.

This survey is the first time where Decision Direct Research has seen a drop in the importance of "Good Value for the Money" with scores decreasing from 42% in 2005 to 38% in 2006. Comparatively, the importance of "High Quality" merchandise increased from 55% to 57%.

"This could be the beginning of a shift for online customers who are becoming tired of inexpensive items that don't last and are now returning to the quality that really matters," said LeBel. "It's an issue that we'll continue to monitor."

As shoppers become savvier, they expect more functionality and higher ease of use, according to survey results. Scores that have decreased slightly in 2006 over 2005 include:

-- "Web site offers reliable and accurate product search option" decreasing from 45% to 42%

-- "Can quickly find the product desired" going from 40% to 38%

-- Site "well-laid out and easy to shop from" dropping from 47% to 45%

-- "Products described accurately" slipping from 45%, up from 43%.

"Multi-channel merchants should consider improving these areas helping order to increase conversation rates," said LeBel. Only 42% of the respondents indicated they were satisfied with site search, a drop of three points over the previous year. Consumers were also less satisfied with their ability to "quickly find the products desired," with ratings for "very satisfied" decreasing from 40% in 2005 to 38% in 2006.

While merchandise is the key driver in getting consumers to a site, often times it's the technology and service, or lack thereof, that can make the difference between a sale or a click to a competitor's Web site.

The Online Co-Op Survey

These results are from the most recently completed quarterly Online Co-op Survey conducted by Decision Direct Research, a division of Millard Group, Inc., which provides participating catalogers and e-commerce retailers scores from consumers. The Survey scores various online marketing attributes and attitudinal changes compared to results from the previous quarter, as well as the prior year. This current research survey includes responses from more than 70,000 online shoppers.

About Decision Direct Research and Millard Group, Inc.

Decision Direct Research, a division of Millard Group, Inc., has been conducting Online Co-op Surveys on a quarterly basis since its first Post-Holiday survey in late December 2002, in an effort to provide participating catalogs and e-commerce retailers with insight regarding their customers and their shopping behavior, as well as their perceptions of the catalogs' Web sites. Online retailers need not be Millard Group clients to participate in the surveys. For more information on the Online Co-op Survey or other research surveys conducted by Decision Direct Research, contact Lilliane LeBel, vice president, at 603-924-9262, ext. 3232, or llebel@millard.com.

Millard Group, Inc. (www.millard.com), one of the nation's leading service providers in direct marketing, offers list brokerage, list management, marketing research through Decision Direct Research, insert media, and Internet services. Founded in 1977, the company's business philosophy centers on customer service and depth of talent through the staff's scope, expertise and tenure. The company is headquartered in Peterborough, N.H., and has offices in Darien, Conn. and San Diego, Calif. Millard Group, Inc. is a member of The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), The New England Mail Order Association (NEMOA), The American Market Research Association, the Fulfillment Management Association, Northern California Catalog and E-Commerce Club, San Diego Direct Marketing Association, among others. Professional staff members serve on the Board of Directors of The DMA, NEMOA and VT/NH DMG, the DMA Catalog, List and Circulation Council Operating Committees, among others, and are frequent speakers at industry and business conferences throughout the nation.

About infoUSA

infoUSA (www.infoUSA.com), founded in 1972, is the leading provider of business and consumer information products, database marketing services, data processing services and sales and marketing solutions. Content is the essential ingredient in every marketing program, and infoUSA has the most comprehensive data in the industry, and is the only company to own a proprietary database of 250 million consumers and 14 million businesses under one roof. The infoUSA database powers the directory services of the top Internet traffic-generating sites. Nearly 3 million customers use infoUSA's products and services to find new customers, grow their sales, and for other direct marketing, telemarketing, customer analysis and credit reference purposes. infoUSA headquarters are located at 5711 S. 86th Circle, Omaha, NE 68127 and can be contacted at (402) 593-4500. To know more about Sales Leads, click www.infousa.com. To get a 7-day free trial and 100 free sales leads, click www.salesgenie.com.

Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, recent changes in senior management, the successful integration of recent and future acquisitions, fluctuations in operating results, failure to successfully carry out our Internet strategy or to grow our Internet revenue, effects of leverage, changes in technology and increased competition. More information about potential factors that could affect the company's business and financial results is included in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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