Several reasons are behind the reluctance to purchase online. Studies published in 2003 and 2004 reported that 25 percent of e-commerce sites do not display a phone number clearly on the customer service page; 49 percent of online shoppers could not readily find the answers to a question; and 88 percent of shoppers abandoned their online shopping carts before reaching the checkout. The Yankee Group, a Boston-based research firm, indicated that up to the first quarter of 2003, the average conversion rate from shopping in brick-and-mortar stores to buying on e-commerce sites was just 10 percent.
Companies considering the use of an email marketing program must make sure that their program does not violate spam laws such as the United States' Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM), the European Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, or their Internet service provider's acceptable use policy.
Push marketing is a proactive technique that enables e-marketers to "push" their product/service information to Web visitors or shoppers without their requesting it. Banner advertising, pop-up advertising, e-mail promotion, and spamming belong to push marketing. For instance, e-marketers can rent designated space from Internet service providers such as America Online or MSN for their banner or pop-up ads. Using animated graphics, appealing messages, and links, e-marketers try to lure visitors to their sites to buy their products or services. Many Internet users, however, find such ads annoying and employ software that blocks pop-ups and banner ads. <