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Online Retailers Take Stock

If you thought counting goods on a shelf was tough....

What happens when an online shopper doesn't find what she wants? Like many retail shoppers, she goes to another store, according to "The Online Inventory Impact Survey." The survey was commissioned by the e-tailing group and BetweenMarkets and conducted in May 2007.

While about half of respondents said they checked for the out-of-stock item at another site, 56% of online shoppers also said they simply checked back later for replenished stock, or signed up to be e-mailed when the item became available.

The Internet has made it easy for shoppers to check competing stores for merchandise. With inventory management more important than ever, 83% of online retailers have real-time inventory assessment on their product pages. Shoppers at three-quarters of online retail Websites can also see if an item is in stock when using a virtual shopping cart.

Retailers with both online and offline stores are now concerned with maintaining a synchronized inventory for both.

Respondents to a Retail Systems Alert Group survey cited efficient inventory allocation as among the key opportunities for creating customer satisfaction. Over half of retailers selected synchronizing customer and inventory information as a high priority.

Learn more about how online and offline retail work together. Read the eMarketer US Retail E-Commerce: Entering the Multi-Channel Era report.

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