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(April 23, 2001) -- Even as consumer packaged-goods companies embrace the Web, a study from Chicago-based Information Resources Inc. says the investment isn't always spent wisely. The study, which will be released today, states that although the sites generally meet consumer needs, they may overdeliver on such features as games and community information as they underdeliver in other areas that consumers believe important.

For instance, although some 38% of manufacturer sites offer games and activities, only 12% of those surveyed expressed interest in such features. Conversely, respondents showed a keen interest in samples and special offers, an area in which many sites underdelivered. Fifty-five percent expressed interest in free samples, but only 22% of manufacturers sites offer them.

Consumer packaged-goods companies are also behind on measuring the return on investment they receive from their Web activities; less than a third of the 72% of companies that have brand sites have calculated ROI. The study, titled "CPG Online: What's Not Clicking for Manufacturers, Retailers, and Consumers," was produced by IRI's e.Ventures group.

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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