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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : April 18, 2012

Survey: E-Tailers most concerned with customer experience

Online retailers are taking to heart the need for a cohesive customer experience. That, according to the latest data from the e-tailing group. In their 11th Annual survey 31% of senior executives reported the customer experience as the most important focus for their company.

by Kristina Knight

Following up customer experience, 22% said marketing was the most important focal point while 19% said channels were of most importance moving forward.

"Upon reviewing findings from our 11th annual survey, we are taking a forward thinking stance for 2012," said Lauren Freedman, President of the e-tailing group. "After 18 years of ecommerce consulting, we anticipate that this will be a chaotic year with retailers sorting out emerging channels and device growth; yet all the while relying on their websites to serve as the mainstay of the shoppers' experience. Holistic thinking and gaining an understanding of one's customer will be essential to personalize and prioritize experiences in the connected world in which we find ourselves today."

Other interesting findings from the survey include:

• 86% said revenue has increased over the past year
• 81% have seen increased online traffic
• 65% have seen increases to the average order size
• 60% say conversion rates have increased

E-Tailers are also seeing the benefits of social marketing with most reporting they have seen improvement thanks to Facebook 'likes', social login features and fCommerce. Mobile commerce is another channel which is beginning to show results for some online retailers.

Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reports 'moderate growth' again for March 2012. Year over Year retail sales increased 6.6% while month-to-month growth was just under 1%.

"Moderate retail sales growth in March will help to offset murkier recent economic employment data," said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. "We expect to see gains through the all-important summer months, but job and weak income growth coupled with stubbornly high gas costs will continue to force consumers to make tough, price-sensitive choices."

Sales of building/garden materials increased 12% (YoY) while clothing/accessory sales improved 12.5% (YoY). Other segments showing growth were Sports/Hobby/Book sales (8.9% YoY) and Furniture/Home Furnishings (7.9% YoY).

Tags: e-tailing group, ecommerce research, ecommerce trends, National Retail Federation, NRF

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