Archive for the ‘Research Library’ Category


the e-tailing group 18th Annual Mystery Shopping Study Summary Report

Know Your Score 2016
See Also:
Press Release 01.27.2016
Press Release 02.22.2016


This study benchmarks 272 features on 100 B2C merchant websites that were mystery shopped in 4Q ’15. Our extensive summary highlights key metrics and trends from both a service and selling perspective. Throughout, the presence of each element is presented via a series of 13 categories including an industry-at-large perspective. Stellar merchants are identified from a merchandising and customer service perspective. (View the 2014 B2C merchant websites.)


Mobile Momentum

Buy Now
See Also:
Press Release


For the past 5 years, the e-tailing group has strived to be in the forefront of mobile by adapting to our industry-respected Mystery Shopping Study to the mobile channel. Objectives for the 2015 survey were to explore the evolution of mobile shopping in the context of greater adoption by consumers and retailers alike. We will assess the year-over-year trends, highlight top performing mobile retailers and key in on best practices.

In 3Q15 we benchmarked the on-the-go consumer experience from information gathering through purchasing and customer support. Find out the results of real shopping experiences as we evaluated the onsite user experience on 172 metrics, looking at 6 top tasks consumers are likely to perform along with the overall usability of their experience, including year-over-year results.

Check for Product at Retail Store Find A Product (Search & Navigation) Buy A Product
Browse Key Pages Research A Product Seek Customer Service

What’s Included:

  • 44-page-no holds barred encompassing look at mobile from the shopper point-of-view.
  • 6 key themes from inventory transparency to omnichannel purchasing
  • Winning retailer performance across key pages
  • 25 best practices are shared to understand how the best retailers present key pages, showcase merchandising and navigation, streamline purchasing and support customer service
  • 20 statistical charts and graphs focused on usability, browse and buy experiences, cross-channel execution and customer engagement
Mobile Merchants 3Q15
Advance Auto Parts Dick’s Sporting Goods Kay PetSmart The Men’s Wearhouse
Amazon eBags Kohl’s QVC The North Face
American Eagle Outfitters Estee Lauder L.L. Bean REI Tory Burch
Apple FTD Lane Bryant Saks Fifth Avenue Toys ‘R Us
Barnes & Noble Finish Line Lenovo Sears Ulta
Best Buy Foot Locker Lowe’s Sephora Urban Outfitters
Burberry Gap Macy’s Staples Victoria’s Secret
Coach HSN Neiman Marcus Steve Madden Walgreen’s
Crate&Barrel JCPenney Nordstrom Target Walmart
Crutchfield Kate Spade Office Depot The Home Depot Williams-Sonoma


Hitting the High Notes: Learn What Consumers and Retailers are Expecting This Holiday

White Paper


Retailers understand both the opportunity and the urgency that comes with the 4th Quarter. While sales volume is always unprecedented, consumers have more choice than ever before. Survival depends on being able to strum the right chords and hit the high notes in order that your brand meets desired selection criteria and to get picked as a favored retailer.

Reflections from this year’s robust research study, sponsored by MarketLive, center around the shopper. Heightened expectations are seen from a convenience and logistics point of view in order to compete as same day delivery and overnight options become the new normal. Mobile matters more than ever where stronger user experiences and better access via inventory transparency find smartphones serving as the connector to the physical store. The store experience continues to evolve as shoppers connect prior to and during store visits to gather information, price compare and purchase based on an ever-changing set of needs. Social has certainly made strides as 1 in 4 shoppers report making a purchase via this channel.

Engaging the shopper requires a unique ability to merchandise smart, present sophisticated gifting scenarios, while always maintaining superior service standards. Omnichannel access is an expectation for brick and mortar retailers and one that can serve as a point of differentiation in a world where our research indicates that the majority of shoppers will spend at least ¼ of their holiday budget with Amazon.

Research Objective and Methodology

Gain the consumer perspective regarding gift buying behavior, store selection criteria, the impact of mobile from a purchasing and store traffic perspective along with social’s evolving role in shopping

1,027 consumers completed an online questionnaire in September 2015

  • 51% female/49% male
  • Shopped online 4 or more times in the past year spending $250 or more
  • 100% owned a smartphone


To elevate your holiday selling, the e-tailing group in conjunction with MarketLive shares the highlights from our 7th Annual Holiday Research study. After an extensive review of sites and selling techniques we ultimately selected 25 notes that retailers should attempt to hit to optimize your holiday season. Our focus is on 5 key areas.

A. Get Picked: Survival of the Fittest
B. Ready the Channels
C. Circle the Critical Holidays
D. Winning Gifting Tactics are Mandatory to Make the Numbers
E. High Notes to Sing Holiday Sales


Retail Advertising Report Card

White Paper
Coming Soon 


Is Your Digital Marketing Making The Grade? These days, everyone is an omnichannel consumer. They shop in stores, online and on our phones, gathering information across multiple channels before making a purchase.

But even as marketers respond by pouring money into digital channels, they continue to earn poor grades from potential customers.

To score high with omnichannel consumers, marketers must find a way to stay connected to and speak consistently to them as they journey across channels.

Research Objective and Methodology

Surveyed 1000 consumers (50% female, 50% male) in April, 2015. All participants owned smartphones, spent at least $250 online, made online purchases at least 4 times a year, and completed a 25-question survey.


  • Tie online behavior to offline results
  • Master the new fundamentals
  • Accurately link digital behavior to offline activity
  • Pass the marketing speed test
  • Mobile matters
  • Score high with customer-relevant marketing


Omnichannel Clout

Heightened shopper expectations are forcing stores to transform their identities, thinking and in-store endeavors. While initially some industry pundits and retailers themselves perceived stores to be a liability, they are today at the core of one’s omnichannel vision.

Read More »


Solving The Behavioral Puzzle



Retailers have an inkling about which buyer behavior indicates that shoppers are ready to buy – few are leveraging behavioral marketing and segmentation practices to effectively market to their customers.

The e-tailing group combined quantitative survey data and one-on-one interviews with leading retailers to take their pulse and more closely examine this behavior puzzle.

Retailers will learn:

  • How many marketing segments retailers are currently focused on and what they see as ideal
  • Why consistency is critical to omnichannel performance
  • What user behaviors are signals that shoppers are ready to how and which are integrated into their current marketing
  • How silos rather than omnichannel thinking prevails
  • Why retail desire is lofty though lack of resources and action hamper marketing efforts
  • How tools needed to power marketing are not in place


Make It Visual: Online Shopper Preferences For Rich Media

White Paper


Rich media like video, spin photography, interactive video, walkthroughs, and more are the future of online commerce. Says who? Your shoppers. To find out what shoppers think about visual content, we surveyed over 1,000 consumers to learn about their preferences for visual content while shopping online.

The results were overwhelmingly positive. Shoppers of all ages, incomes and spending levels want video and interactive content as a part of their online shopping experience. Nearly 9 in 10 consumers agree that shopping online is both more efficient and more effective with visuals beyond product photography.

What’s Included:

Consumers Crave Visual Content

  1. The Product Page is the Most Important Place for Visual Content
  2. Spin is More Helpful than Photography
  3. Wanted: Visual Content for High Consideration Categories
  4. Two in Three Shoppers Would Rather Use Visual Content than Interact with Customer Service
  5. Consumers Want Visual Content on Mobile

Sponsor: Invodo


Omnichannel Execution Unrealized

Coming Soon 
Coming Soon
See Also:
Press Release (coming soon)

Based on our 20-year indexing track record, the e-tailing group is working in conjunction with B2C Partners, an ecommerce management consulting firm for traditional retailers and brand manufacturers, to develop an omni-channel index and research knowledge base.

Research Goal

The goal of this research will be to provide a “consumer facing” evaluation of shopping experiences along with a methodology for retailers to assess their performance via a series of tools created by the e-tailing group, pioneers of mystery shopping online.   This inaugural survey will become an annual vehicle to measure changing consumer behavior in the omnichannel shopping world. We will complement this with in-store experiences where a 30-store index of omnichannel shopping will be made available in the coming months.

Research Components

Consumer Research Survey

A 15-question online consumer survey of 1106 shoppers was completed in March, 2015. Respondents were evenly split by gender, had made shopping purchases both online and in a physical store in the past 6 months and owned a smartphone.

Survey Topics

    • Cross Channel Consistency
    • Inventory Transparency
    • Cross-channel Information Access
    • In-Store Use of Technology


B2C Partners


Consistent Personalization Everywhere Consumers Shop

Personalization has continued to evolve as savvy retailers push the envelope to better target their customers in hopes of delivering more relevant engagement across every channel. From sophisticated onsite execution, elevated targeted email and retargeting to in-store adoption via mobile devices and ereceipts, one can’t help but notice personalization’s evolved presence.

Read More »


the e-tailing group 17th Annual Mystery Shopping Study Summary Report

This study benchmarks 340 features on 100 B2C merchant websites that were mystery shopped in 4Q ’14. Our extensive summary highlights key metrics and trends from both a service and selling perspective. Throughout, the presence of each element is presented via a series of 14 categories including an industry-at-large perspective. Stellar merchants are identified from a merchandising and customer service perspective.

Read More »

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