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Sure Fit website used for market research

Retail Editor 5, Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, November 27, 2000

NEW YORK -When Sure Fit Inc. launched its website in 1997, it never expected to use it as a valuable tool to conduct market research.

One of the site's features are ongoing pop-up surveys that customers may answer whenever they visit www.surefit.com. The surveys were originally introduced this past summer as part of the company's Ugly Couch Contest and have remained part of the site as market-research tools.

The site averages 8,000 visitors per day with roughly 20 percent responding to questions that change up to two times a week. Gradually, according to a statement released by Sure Fit, the site has grown into one of the most important elements in the company's integrated marketing program.

"It provides support for retailers as well as valuable consumer service," said Sure Fit ceo and president Bert Shlensky, about the website. "It educates consumers on what to look for in a slipcover, enhances the Sure Fit brand image, and then directs them to a list of our retail partners."

Survey questions vary from specific decorating questions to trivial, fun questions.

Forty-seven percent said they absolutely loved to decorate in response to a question on their attitude towards decorating; 44 percent said they loved to decorate but found it difficult; 7 percent said it was a necessary chore and only did it when they had to; and 2 percent avoided it at all costs.

Casual got the nod in 34 percent of the votes in a question about decorating style, while 22 percent said they preferred country, and 21 percent, traditional. Contemporary style garnered 19 percent of the votes, while formal rounded out the question with 3 percent.

Other questions included which cable television station was watched the most, how often respondents decorated their living rooms, and what was respondents' favorite decorating magazine?

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