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SmartHub® ECommerce Study Shows Impact Of Hurricane Sandy

ATLANTA, Feb. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Innotrac Corporation (NASDAQ: INOC), a best-of-breed commerce provider integrating digital technology, fulfillment, and contact center solutions to support global brands, today announced summary results of its latest SmartHub® eCommerce benchmark analysis, which was based on a sampling of orders placed in October 2012, coinciding with the day Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the Northeastern United States.

SmartHub®, Innotrac's proprietary benchmarking tool, provides clients and strategic partners with intelligence and analysis of the online retail purchase cycle.  The current release evaluated over 225 leading merchants across 81 data points, tracking the entire eCommerce experience from ordering, to shipping, packaging, customer service, and returns.  

"SmartHub® provides benchmarks on what normally happens after a consumer has made an online purchase," said Melissa O'Keefe, Sr. Director of eCommerce and Marketing at Innotrac.   "But this particular ordering cycle provided us with additional data about the effects a natural disaster can have on an e-retailer's business.  Providing a great customer experience is usually at the forefront of every retailer's business strategy, and they work hard to put processes in place to make sure that happens.  But what about when something beyond the retailer's control happens?  This release shows how some retailers reacted to ensure customer satisfaction in spite of the circumstances."

The October 2012 SmartHub® benchmarking study reports on the effects of Hurricane Sandy, branding and key trends in delivery.  Among the findings:

  • Of orders shipped from Sandy Affected Areas, only 17% were received within 3 days, with 46% taking more than 5 days to deliver.  This was in stark contrast to prior studies where 59% delivered within 3 days and only 11% took more than 5 days.
  • The data shows a rise in the percentage of retailers offering free shipping on all orders doubled from 9.4% to 19.5%.  
  • For this order cycle, 87% of merchants brand their pack slips, but only 4.4% of merchants utilized the pack slips to provide personalization or some type of marketing messages or offers to consumers.    

The order cycle for the next SmartHub® study occurred on Cyber Monday, and will look at how the holiday peak season impacts the eCommerce order experience from the customer's point of view.

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