Online e-tail improvements may not be enough, Jupiter warns

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Fifty-six percent of online retailers say they are prepared to handle high-order volumes this holiday shopping season, compared to just 10 percent who were confident of their sites' infrastructures last year, according to Jupiter Research, a division of Jupiter Media Metrix. But the increase in online shopping traffic this season, coupled with online retailers' lack of customer service contingency plans could leave shoppers hanging in the event of a site crash. Only 25 percent of e-tailers have contingency plans in place to handle potentially overwhelming customer service inquiries, Jupiter reports. Separately, Media Metrix said that unique visitors to retail sites during the week of Thanksgiving and Black Friday increased by 40.3 percent compared to the same week last year, with the Media Metrix Online Shopping Index climbing from 25.1 million unique visitors to 35.2 million.

Copyright November 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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