BOO.COM’S MARKET WATCH

Byline: Valerie Seckler

NEW YORK — North American cybershoppers at six-month-old boo.com rely more heavily on the telephone than Europeans for their customer service queries, and also view more pages per visit than their counterparts across the Atlantic.
Those bits of information are among a just released collection of data gathered by boo.com from its customers in its 18 markets in North America and Europe, between the site’s launch last Nov. 3 and mid-March.
Asked what prompted the purveyor of edgy streetwear and activewear to go public with the bits and bytes, Jay Herratti, president of Boo.com North America, said, “It positions us as an international business. People ask us these kinds of questions regularly — things like, ‘What are the differences between your markets?’ and, ‘How are you addressing them?”‘
Among the findings from Boo’s database on its cybershoppers:
Twenty percent of purchases made in the U.S. were transacted via telephone, compared with 12 percent of purchases in Europe conducted that way.
U.S. shoppers prefer to get their customer service on the phone by a wide margin; 61 percent of such contacts are made in that manner.
Europeans, in contrast, favor e-mail for their customer service requests. In Germany, for instance, 55 percent of inquiries to boo.com are made via e-mail.
Germans constitute the largest share of users who contact customer service.
North American shoppers appear to browse more while shopping than Europeans, and U.S. shoppers generally spend more time on the site, while conducting the same volume of purchases.
European ordering times peak around 1 p.m., much earlier than in North America, where traffic is heaviest around 5 p.m. It could be that Europeans prefer to shop online during lunchtime, while North Americans head for the Web after work.
Boo compiled the data, of course, in the markets where it conducts e-commerce: the U.S., Canada, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, France, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Not surprisingly, Herratti noted, Boo is using the data collected to help make purchasing, merchandising and staffing decisions, such as how to allocate customer-service employees among the company’s call centers.
Boo.com also revealed some style distinctions discerned from the database on its shoppers: