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Online retailers identify 2013 priorities

Retail Editor 4, Jeff Linville -- Home Textiles Today, January 14, 2013

New York - More than half (51%) of online retailers will focus on checkout optimization, alternative payments, user experience, testing, and product detail page enhancements this year, according to the 2013 Shop.org/Forrester Research Inc. State Of Retailing Online survey released today.
"While direct mobile commerce is still small, mobile services are now an established and significant part of the shopping experience," said Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell.
She added: "Retailers this year are smartly investing to create a holistic customer experience across stores, desktop, and mobile to improve conversion rates, grow crucial repeat customer business, and even capture their share of customer demand from international markets."
The survey found 43% of retailers said mobile and tablets are among their top three priorities for 2013. Many companies plan to invest in new or improved mobile apps and mobile-optimized sites, analytics, and traffic and conversion growth.
Among other customer experience investments this year, More than one-quarter (27%) of retailers surveyed said they will undertake site redesign, including overhauling the "look and feel" and implementing responsive design changes.
The survey found 58% of retailers surveyed said their conversion rates in 2012 grew over 2011, and many companies reported their cart abandonment rate was either stable or even down compared to 2011.
Respondents were split about mobile's impact on conversion rates: 36% of retailers surveyed said that mobile sales and traffic have helped their company's overall web conversion rate, while 29% experienced a negative impact.
"With fewer new shoppers to attract these days, online retailers have fewer opportunities for new customer acquisitions, so they are more focused on retaining and driving value for existing shoppers," Shop.org reported.
More than half (53%) said they managed to increase the average order value for repeat customers over the past year, and 52% have seen an increase in their repeat

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