e-tailing group Annual Merchant Survey, 2009: Merchants Optimize to Profit in Turbulent Times Tweaking, Testing, and Targeting the eCommerce Channel

E-tailing Group Annual Merchant Survey, 2009 $595
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etail/detail 04.21.09 PDF
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Press ReleasE 04.14.09


A compilation of responses and commentary from 190 senior executives with responsibility for e-commerce. Results provide a unique overview — from the sellers’ perspective, with observations and guidelines interjected from the e-tailing group, inc. based on 15 years of e-commerce and over 50+ years of retail experience.

What’s Included
Each participant has completed our survey of 45 questions relating to:

  • Internet Strategies
  • Merchandising Features and Functionality
  • Up-Sells/Cross-Sells
  • Shopping Cart Abandonment
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Email Performance, Usage and Challenges
  • Segmentation, Customization and Personalization
  • International Initiatives
  • Cross-Channel Initiatives
  • eCommerce Platforms
  • Mobile Initiatives

Table of Contents

I.      Introduction
II.     Profile of Participants
III.    Executive Summary
IV.    Internet Strategy
V.     Merchandising Features and Functionality
VI.    Up-Sells and Cross-Sells
VII.   Shopping Cart Abandonment
VIII.  Marketing Strategies
IX.    Email Performance, Usage and Challenges
X.     Segmentation, Customization and Personalization
XI.    International
XII.   Cross-Channel Initiatives
XIII.  eCommerce Platforms
XIV.  Mobile Initiatives
XV.   Merchants’ Commentary
XVI.  Checklist
XVII. About the e-tailing group

Charts and Tables

Internet Strategy & Analytics

  • Online sales penetration
  • Merchant sales channels
  • Internet revenue change 2009 vs. 2009
  • Impact of the current economic climate on e-commerce investments
  • Dedicated employee counts
  • Management satisfaction levels
  • Current and year-over-year conversion rates
  • Rankings of strategic goal initiatives
  • Initiatives planned for improving website performance
  • Marketing and customer service tactics for retaining customers
  • Contribution of gifting to overall sales


  • Sources of information used to make merchandising decisions
  • Merchandising and navigational tactics for retaining customers
  • Rankings of value and presence of 52 merchandising features
    • Search
    • Visualization/Rich Media
    • Product/Content Features
    • Multi-Product Selling
    • Promotional Tactics
    • Seasonal/Gifting Features
    • Customer Service
    • Suggestive Selling
    • Viral Strategies
    • Email as a Merchandising/Customer Service Vehicle
    • Customization/Personalization
    • Cross-Channel
  • Rich media impact
  • Gifting vs. personal consumption as a percent of sales
  • Up-sell/Cross-sell contributions to overall website revenue
  • Up-sell/Cross-sell conversion rates on product pages and in the shopping cart
  • Policies on merchandise left in the cart
  • Communication tactics post cart abandonment
  • Current cart abandonment rates


  • Sources of e-commerce demand
  • Customer acquisition expenditure determination
  • Email frequency and content
  • Rankings of top email uses and challenges
  • Improving email performance
  • Level of customer segmentation sophistication
  • Personalization defined
  • Merchandising products to personalization them on the web
  • Shipping/selling internationally


  • Time frame for coordinating marketing across channels
  • Timeline for providing cross-channel features including in-store pickup
  • Measuring cross-channel behavior
  • Integrating the web into the store experience
  • Advantages of offering multi-channel/cross-channel conveniences
  • eCommerce Platforms
  • Timeline to change e-commerce platforms
  • Consideration when looking to switching platforms
  • Ranking of most important criteria in selecting a new platform

Mobile Initiatives

  • Current customer engagement in mobile
  • Level of involvement with mobile merchandising and marketing
  • Merchants’ Commentary
  • Areas of focus

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