The Multi-Channel Marathon: Differentiation and Prioritization to Thrive in Challenging Times

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To provide thought leadership about the current state of eCommerce in-depth interviews were conducted in-depth interviews with 25 merchants on an array of issues. Discussions started with a simple but important question: “How has the current economic climate impacted your eCommerce and cross-channel initiatives?” Despite the climate’s uncertainty, the outlook is clearly positive relative to eCommerce with investments predicated on the state of each merchant’s eCommerce business.

Merchants seek to address changing customer dynamics; smartly optimizing customer experiences that drive profitability. Core themes center on ROI-driven decision-making, an analytical approach to their marketing spend along with a back-to-basics mentality to ensure success. Examination of the top-three impediments to success provides an “insider look” at issues ranging from resources to consensus-building.

Next we tactically explore how spending will be altered in 2009, spanning the marketing spectrum including customer acquisition and retention. From there we address the customer experience, which dovetails with efforts to improve conversion where onsite merchandising is integral. Merchant wish lists start with brand strategies and the assortment coupled with customer experience enhancements, along with the appropriate analytics to best access performance.

Then we focus on process improvement, multi-channel integration, and related technology/systems initiatives including mobile to explore where investments are being secured.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. The State of Buying and Selling

III. Marketing Methodologies

A. Acquisition Centers on Profitability

B.  Retention Spending Employs a Variety of Techniques

IV. The Customer Experience

V. Evolving Technology Requirements

VI. Thinking Ahead-New Markets, New Channels

VII. Conclusion


Acquity Group

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