Every Q1 for the past ten years, a couple of hundred senior executives with responsibility for ecommerce, representing over 30 major product categories being sold online, have taken the time to complete our lengthy survey – this year it tallied 57 questions.
Responses and commentary from these merchants provide the foundation of report that we distribute free to those who participate in the survey and make available for others to purchase. If you have not participated in the past, but would like to join the ranks, please provide your email address and we will add you to the list for 2012. If you wish to purchase the current report, “Diligent Investing + Solid Execution = Evolved Selling,” you may order it for $595 via PayPal.
THE ECOMMERCE LINEUP
The primary take-away from the current survey is that from strategic planning to merchandising to marketing, merchants are diligently investing to meet the demands of sophisticated, technology-savvy consumers. To succeed in today’s commerce anywhere marketplace they must not only deploy an ever-expanding depth and breadth of features and functionality, they must ensure that execution is solid to deliver seamless shopping across all channels of distribution.
Check your standing versus these top-line findings:
90% of merchants anticipate Internet revenues will increase over last year; 46% vs. 36% are projecting those revenues to climb 16% or more as the channel continues to evolve. Are you planning accordingly?
Mobile, social, and global initiatives see accelerated importance. Are you capitalizing on consumer adoption?
Merchants are delivering customer experiences that yield slightly higher conversion rates with 45% this year vs. 41% last year now reporting conversion at 3% or greater. Factoring in categories sold, are you in the ballpark?
Asked to rate top merchandising and navigational tactics for customer retention, merchants named analytics (88%) and site redesign (85%) as “the most important to somewhat important” (Top-2). Do you agree?
SEM (90%) and exemplary customer service (88%) were rated as the “most important to somewhat important” (top-2) marketing/customer service tactics for customer retention. Are you optimizing these areas?
Beyond reviews the social media tools that most merchants employ/plan to employ are Facebook-related, however at this early stage merchants are looking for engagement and relationship building rather than revenue. Does social media present some opportunities for your business?