State of Online Retail in 2013

A few days ago, Shop.org and Forrester teamed up to release the report “The State of Retailing Online 2013: Key Metrics and Initiatives.” It’s full of great information. If you’re a member of Shop.org, you can get your copy here: http://www.shop.org/soro

Here are three interesting takeaways:

It’s All About Mobile

Mobile is big and continues to grow. According to the report, the main areas for mobile investment for retailers this year include apps, mobile site optimization, responsive design, tablets, mobile payments and more. However, it’s interesting that “more than half of the retailers surveyed did not list mobile investment as a ‘top three’ priority for their online (digital) business in 2013,” which would inevitably lead to confusion and more experimentation in the space over the next few years. It’s important to note though, that while over half of retailers didn’t list mobile as a priority for this year, 43 percent did. Those that will be investing in mobile will be focusing on optimization and customer experience, the report says.

To us, this begs the question of impact of multi-device consumers engaging with campaigns – especially when mobile isn’t a high priority. Mobile is growing… tablets are booming… and the focus for marketers needs to be placed on consistency and quality customer experience of campaigns across a multi-device universe. You can read more about it here. To us, this begs the question of impact of multi-device consumers engaging with campaigns – especially when mobile isn’t a high priority. Mobile is growing… tablets are booming… and the focus for marketers needs to be placed on consistency and quality customer experience of campaigns across a multi-device universe. You can read more about it here.

With the right technology, your customer data and analytics can reveal how many customers are visiting your site or opening your emails via phone vs. tablet vs. PC with a depth of information that you can actually target each person as individuals for messaging. This can certainly increase conversions to boost ROI. But without this information, it’s difficult to get a complete picture of each customer and provide them with the experience they would most value.

Site Optimization and Analytics Priorities

While mobile continues to grow, investing in site optimization and spending more on analytics is the top issue for retailers going into this year. According to report, retailers will be focusing on optimizing the entire online experience, improving the checkout experience, and exploring responsive design.

Web Shopping Spree

Online retailing continues to see healthy growth. Conversions are up and shopper loyalty is growing. When you consider the same consumers who a few years ago were afraid to type their credit card information into “the Internet” are the same ones who one-click their online shopping today, you can see we’ve come a long way. Of course, there’s more that can be done. While e-commerce is solid and mobile transactions are growing at a “torrid triple-digit pace,” there remains room for growth and improvement. Site optimization to further increase conversions and mobile optimization to support the growing number of buyers on phone and tablet are two major initiatives – and two topics we’ll continue to discuss in the months ahead. Stay tuned.

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