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Customer Trust Sees Pumpkin Patch Grow Online

Customer Trust Sees Pumpkin Patch Grow Online,
Says Nielsen//NetRatings


Auckland: 2 May 2001 – Kiwi children’s clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch looks set to become a leading example of e-tailing in New Zealand, according to latest information from Nielsen//NetRatings.

Nielsen//NetRatings, the world's fastest growing Internet audience measurement service, is produced by ACNielsen eRatings.com (a venture between ACNielsen Corp., NYSE:ART and NetRatings, Inc., Nasdaq: NTRT), Nielsen Media Research and NetRatings, Inc.

In March 2001, pumkinpatch.co.nz was visited by around 20,000 unique at-home visitors, who spent an average of nine minutes and fifty seconds on the site. Of those, some 84 percent were women, and 63 percent of visitors were in the 25-34 age bracket.

“This goes to prove a couple of maxims about e-tailing in New Zealand,” says ACNielsen eRatings.com’s Managing Director Pacific Brian Milnes. “Firstly, word of mouth is king in etail. You can promote as aggressively as you like but the consumers will judge good and bad experiences. It also proves that the clicks and bricks model can work extremely well, when a company with a significant retail presence creates an online platform, consumers are more inclined to trust it. In Pumpkin Patch’s case, they have significant brand weight in their market and a loyal customer base that is likely to have online access.”

The site’s success formula is based on established business practice. Pumpkin Patch started life as a mail order business, but this has been overtaken by traditional retail as more and more stores have opened, increasing consumer awareness of and trust in the brand. Building on that foundation and a proven model, the site uses an on-line order form that is very similar to its mail order form, encouraging people to easily transfer their buying habits to the website. The site was developed and designed by ZIVO.

“The initial site went live last June and we revamped it this February, so it’s great to see such quick results,” says managing director Maurice Prendergast. “We’ve done very little promotion for the website apart from running competitions on the site and in our catalogues. We’re surprised at such quick growth in the website’s traffic.”

Ensuring that their customers receive the same excellent service online as they would at any Pumpkin Patch store, the company is keeping its online service simple and manageable. Services will grow to meet demand.

“Our site is very focused on encouraging people to order online or visit our stores,” says Mr Prendergast. “It seems to be appreciated by our current customers. We pride ourselves on being able to provide a one-stop shop for busy parents and kids.

“Our website is based on the approach we use with our stores: we want to make shopping easy, fun and enjoyable for parents and kids. We provide good quality durable clothing at affordable prices. The design of our clothing is unique and fun, and that’s what we aim for in our stores and on our website. And if you get the clothes home and something isn’t right, we’ll change it, no questions asked.”

Prendergast is coy about the number of orders but says “we’re very happy with the number of orders we’re getting online.”

About Pumpkin Patch
Founded in 1990 by Sally Synott and headquartered in Auckland, retailer Pumpkin Patch now has 15 stores in New Zealand, 38 in Australia and three in the UK. The company retails the brands Pumpkin Patch, Baby Patch and Urban Angels, as well as selling maternity wear and accessories. Pumpkin Patch was a finalist in the 2000 New Zealand Export Awards. The company employs over 1000 people worldwide. For more information, please visit www.pumpkinpatch.co.nz

About Nielsen//NetRatings
Through strategic partnerships between NetRatings, Nielsen Media Research and ACNielsen, the Nielsen//NetRatings audience measurement service collects real-time data from more than 220,000 individuals with access to the Internet around the world. The U.S. panel sample currently consists of 62,000 individuals with Internet access at home and 8,000 individuals with Internet access at work. International panels are under development with over 150,000 individuals with access at home currently being measured in 21 countries, representing over 88% of global Internet browser activity. These panels collectively represent the largest research sample of Internet users in the industry.

Nielsen//NetRatings uses unique technology capable of measuring both Internet use and advertising to provide the most timely, accurate and comprehensive Internet usage data and advertising information in the global marketplace. Nielsen//NetRatings tracks the entire spectrum of Internet user behaviour, leveraging proprietary data-collection technology from NetRatings, Nielsen Media Research's 50 years of expertise in research and audience measurement, and ACNielsen’s international leadership in offering market research information covering more than 100 countries. For more information, please visit www.nielsen-netratings.com.

About ACNielsen eRatings.com
ACNielsen eRatings.com is a venture between ACNielsen and NetRatings Inc. ACNielsen, a company of VNU N.V., is the world’s leading market research firm, offering measurement and analysis of marketplace dynamics, consumer attitudes and behavior, and new and traditional media in more than 100 countries. ACNielsen’s clients include leading consumer product manufacturers and retailers, service firms, media and entertainment companies and the Internet community. NetRatings is the leading provider of Internet audience measurement technology and analysis. Through the Nielsen//NetRatings service, ACNielsen eRatings.com is creating the first global service for tracking audiences, advertising and user activity on the Internet in more than 30 countries worldwide.

About NetRatings, Inc.
NetRatings (Nasdaq: NTRT) provides Internet audience measurement and analysis services that enable its customers to make informed decisions regarding their Internet strategies. NetRatings delivers accurate and timely information collected from a representative sample of Internet users and augments it with detailed, flexible reporting and in-depth analyses.

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