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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : March 03, 2011

With ecomm set to soar, merchants need social, optimization

In the world of e-commerce brands and marketers know that site optimization is a key to increasing traffic and conversions. Yet many of these merchants aren't testing. Likewise, merchants who are in the social space have shown increased conversion rates; and yet many etailers refuse to go social. Two new reports point to why testing and socialization are important for online merchants.

by Kristina Knight

amadesa.pngA new forecast from Forrester Research predicts that ecommerce spending in the US will surpass $278 billion by 2015, thanks in part to more options in the online shopping world. In addition to site optimization, researchers believe social shopping, flash sales and daily deals - in which certain opt-in consumers are notified of special savings - will keep interest and participation in online shopping high.

"Competition is fierce, and retailers must have a clear understanding of their customers' behavior in order to make the tough choices to optimize site experiences that drive profitability," said Lauren Freedman, President of the e-tailing group. "Getting it right is imperative, and if [brands] aren't testing, they're guessing. Guesswork does not guarantee sales."

Among the interesting findings:

• 71% of etailers are testing for optimization; of those who have tested once, none have abandoned website testing
• 61% are testing to improve user experience
• 57% are testing to improve conversions

A full copy of The Merchant's Cheat Sheet for Testing and Targeting may be downloaded here.

Now for the social aspect, SortPrice has released their 2010 numbers, which show $3.8 billion in merchandise and more than 7.5 million products sold through their storefronts - and their Store Application for Facebook.

"Last year, retailers across the board began to realize the importance of hopping on the social shopping bandwagon," said Asaf Klibansky, Co-founder and CTO with SortPrice.

The growth rate from the Forrester Research report is 10% Compound Annual Growth (CAGR), and points to user experience as another leading factor in the ecommerce increase. In 2010, ecommerce reached $176.2 billion, with more than $32 billion spent online during the holiday season.

Tags: Amadesa, ecommerce, etail, Forrester Research, mcommerce, mobile marketing, online shopping, social commerce, social marketing, SortPrice, the e-tailing group

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