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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : February 21, 2012

How to engage online shoppers year round

Everyone knows ecommerce booms during the holiday season, but similar results can be found for etailers year round. If the proper research and approach is done. According to comScore more than $30 billion was spent online during the 2011 holiday season. Here are our top tips to engage online shoppers throughout the year.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Next to Christmas, the Valentines and Mother's Day holidays have always shown solid interaction from a consumer/buy perspective. What can brands do to better engage with consumers through these 'smaller' holidays?

Eric Tobias, Founder and President, iGoDigital: The biggest area retail bands can help shoppers with during these holidays is in the research phase of the buying process. Most shoppers (especially men) need some 'buying assistance' to find the right gift during holidays such as Valentines and Mother's Day. Engagement tools like Gift Finders or Wish List will help the customer shorten the research phase, since most men spend 70% more time researching, than actually purchasing the gift. Additionally, if retailers could leverage social media outlets to let shoppers reach out to their networks to understand what they might be getting their wife for Valentine's Day or what they got their mom last year for Mother's Day might be a unique value-add. Another 'male friendly' service retailers could provide their shopper is the ability to sign up for automated reminders. This type of service can help remind the shopper of the upcoming holiday, as well as make recommendations - either from a wish list or recommend popular gifts for this season to give the shopper a starting point.

Kristina: What trends are you seeing in ecommerce so far this year?

Eric: Last year, the top ecommerce trends we saw focused on social integration, customer analytics and ecommerce remarketing efforts. This year we are seeing retailers investing further into the development of mobile and tablet strategies. Retailers know that developing a unique tablet and mobile experiences is needed to compete and are also starting to discover that the application of these strategies need to be different for mobile and tablet. We have already seen some brands leverage tablet devices for their in-store sales consultants - which we believe will be a growing trend this year. Through conversations as some of our recent roundtable events the concept of new social sharing platforms such as Pinterest, Pose and have been debated. Retailers are trying to figure out what type of effort they should invest in these new platforms while they try to continue to monetize efforts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

More from Eric tomorrow when he talks about the impact of mobile commerce on retail.

Tags: ecommerce tips, ecommerce trends, Eric Tobias, iGoDigital

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