A quarter of retailers fail to respond to simple e-mail enquiries about the availability of high-value products, such as£500 gift vouchers.
Research carried out by customer contact specialist eGain showed that although the retail industry is advanced when it comes to responding to customer enquiries by e-mail, the sector still has a long way to go in recognising e-mail as a valuable link to customers.
The report found that of the 75 per cent that did respond to e-mail queries, only 7 per cent did so within 24 hours. On average, retail companies take 10 hours longer to respond to customers' e-mails than other vertical sectors, such as automotive or financial companies.
In a statement, eGain said: 'The research demonstrates that the majority of UK companies are missing out on their share of the online market.'