Stories by Dan Briody and Ephraim Schwartz

Holidays offer lessons to online retailers

With the busiest online shopping season ever behind us, e-tailers are looking back at the numbers and finding several lessons to be learned.
Despite an impressive 37-percent increase in the number of shoppers online over the same period last year, according to Media Metrix, retailers catering to holiday shoppers have been tarnished by cases of selling out-of-stock items and of spotty customer service. In an effort to head off embarrassing snafus, companies such as Toys R Us sent out $100 gift certificates or other gifts to make up for any inconvenience that customers may have experienced.