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May 25, 2009 – Survey: Online helmet buying increasing in popularity

May 25, 2009
Filed under Features

Helmet manufacturers are doing a better job than ever before at satisfying customers, who are increasingly opting to make their buying decisions online. Those are the conclusions from the J.D. Power and Associates’ 2009 Motorcycle Helmet Satisfaction Study.
The survey of more than 4,600 consumers found no change in the three top helmet brands in terms of customer satisfaction from a year ago. Arai, Shoei and Icon again placed first, second and third, respectively, in the annual survey.
The industry as a whole scored 766 on a 1,000-point scale, the highest in the survey’s history. This year’s industry average is 5 points higher than a year ago and 31 points higher than two years ago.
The study measures the overall satisfaction of motorcyclists with their new helmet by examining 11 key areas: quietness, ventilation/air flow; de-fogging; face shield ability to keep wind out; face shield ability to resist scratching; ease of replacing face shield; scratch resistance of shell; color/graphic design; weight; ease of fastening the strap and comfort/fit.
Consumers said they used the Internet to shop for helmets about 36 percent of the time, a number that is largely unchanged from a year ago. However, 17 percent of the consumers purchased the helmet online, a percentage that has increased nearly 3 percentage points from a year ago. The bulk of consumers, more than 65 percent, purchase helmets from a dealership while a little more than one in every 10 buy one from an accessory-only shop. About 2 percent purchase a helmet through mail order, the survey found.
The survey was fielded in September and October of 2008.

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