StatsAudienceMany Merchants Lack Measurement

Many Merchants Lack Measurement

As e-commerce has moved into the mainstream, e-tailers are faced with the challenge of updating and maintaining expensive IT investments – sometimes sacrificing measurement or marketing applications in the process.

If site visitors aren’t being tracked, how can e-tailers figure out how to keep them? A 2003 survey from the e-tailing group, inc. finds that more than three-quarters of the respondents wisely implemented new technology in the last year, but critical back-end components are being neglected.

“Merchants are investing in the tools that help customers efficiently find what they want, enable smart browsing, timely and targeted communication and simplified ordering,” said Lauren Freedman, president of the e-tailing group, inc. “Unfortunately many of the sites now in need of platform upgrades or new servers launched with platforms that did not survive the recent technology demise. Others are kludged together with a mix of proprietary legacy systems and off-the-shelf software solutions. Either way these sites are forced to invest in improving their backbone before they can even consider other initiatives.”

As e-commerce has moved into the mainstream, e-tailers are faced with the challenge of updating and maintaining expensive IT investments – sometimes sacrificing measurement or marketing applications in the process.

The report found that 84 percent of the sites surveyed were using site activity and sales as the primary measurement tools, instead of a comprehensive data mining solution. Nearly half (43 percent) could not provide shopping cart abandonment figures and 14 percent could not identify customer conversion rates.

When the 200 senior executives that participated in the study were asked to rank their top technology initiatives for 2003, measurement was dead last. Platform servers and upgrades were the first priority, followed by order processing, performance, personalization, search, product enhancement, automation, channel integration, marketing, and finally, measurement.

While the priority list may indicate that marketing is a lesser concern, merchants are making some improvements to their email communications with customers. Eight-in-ten of those surveyed said they use email for store or product promotions, 70 percent highlight full-price products or seasonal messaging through email, and 40 percent use email as a branding vehicle. Opt-in and opt-out strategies are used in varying ways depending upon specific objectives: 37 percent elect to have customers opt-in, 19 percent prefer opt-out and 40 percent use a combination of both.

When asked to rank certain site features relative to their business, merchants focused on cross-sells/up-sells (50 percent), personalization (50 percent), improved search (35 percent) and live customer service (25 percent).

Customer service in the form of visitor feedback is the focus of a 2003 OpinionLab study of 50 heavily trafficked Web sites. This report, in its third consecutive year, found that 100 percent of the sites it evaluated had user feedback capability – up from 96 percent in 2002, and 98 percent in 2001.

Strides were made in some areas, while leaving room for improvement in others:

User Feedback Practices of the 50 Most Trafficked Sites
2001 2002 2003
Can the user access the feedback
technique from every page of the site?
64% 77% 86%
Can the user find the feedback technique
at the same location on each page?
52% 72% 88%
Can the user always see the online
feedback technique on the page?
10% 19% 4%
Can the user provide online
feedback anonymously?
18% 9% 16%
Source: OpinionLab

Related Articles

Review stars don't matter all that much [Study]

Audience Review stars don't matter all that much [Study]

2y Mike O'Brien
Facebook Claims More Than Half of Social Logins [Study]

Audience Facebook Claims More Than Half of Social Logins [Study]

3y Mike O'Brien
Mobile Shift Drives Father's Day Sales, IBM Says

Audience Mobile Shift Drives Father's Day Sales, IBM Says

3y Susan Kuchinskas
Google Zeitgeist 2013: Our Fascination with North Korea, Royal Baby & Harlem Shake

Audience Google Zeitgeist 2013: Our Fascination with North Korea, Royal Baby & Harlem Shake

4y Jessica Lee
Facebook and YouTube Lead Mobile Online Activity [Study]

Audience Facebook and YouTube Lead Mobile Online Activity [Study]

4y Yuyu Chen
World Cup Most Social Sporting Event Ever, Says Adobe

Audience World Cup Most Social Sporting Event Ever, Says Adobe

3y Susan Kuchinskas
#CZLNY: Unlocking the Secrets to Mobile Video

Audience #CZLNY: Unlocking the Secrets to Mobile Video

4y Greg Jarboe
Online Content Videos Hit Record 52 Billion Monthly Views

Audience Online Content Videos Hit Record 52 Billion Monthly Views

4y Greg Jarboe