With ecomm set to soar, merchants need social, optimization

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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.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with BizReport.com, NBC News, Soaps.com, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.