Website technologies, such as site search and web analytics, made great strides in 2009 as retailers looked for ways to provide richer, more engaging and user-friendly experiences – a trend that local company SLI Systems believes will continue in 2010.
But while the intention to improve the user experience is high, SLI Systems’ recent global e-commerce customer experience survey suggests that most online retailers are uncertain if they are using the data from these applications to improve the online experience for their customers.
“What we’re finding both locally and overseas is a tendency among e-commerce businesses to take a siloed approach to using their digital marketing and sales applications,” said SLI Systems CEO, Shaun Ryan.
“Of the 569 online retailers we surveyed, only half have made an attempt to integrate their various applications while 68 per cent are uncertain if they are using the data they retrieve to improve conversions and maintain existing customers.”
Regardless, the uptake of web technologies is strong with 88 per cent of survey respondents using site search to better engage with customers and prospects. Equal in popularity is web analytics (88 per cent), followed closely by email marketing tactics (81 per cent), user-generated reviews (53 per cent), product recommendations (47 per cent) and online communities (46 per cent).
“As the local e-commerce industry continues to grow and become more competitive, we’ll see retailers take a more integrated approach to using their web technologies. And they’ll have to if they want to stay in the game, especially as e-commerce leaders begin to cater for mobile and smart phone users in 2010 by making browsing on the run just as seamless as sitting at the desk,” said Ryan.
“In addition, we’ll see retailers acknowledge the appeal of video to consumers and the positive effect this has on sales conversion by strategically connecting video content with products and services.
“The third trend we can expect to see this year is the integration of social media content, such as blogs and Facebook, with site search as a way of offering visitors valuable information about the company, products and services. Given that more and more businesses are using social networking to build brands and communicate with customers, it makes sense to incorporate this material with site information as a way of adding extra sway in the sales cycle,” concluded Ryan.