I recently had the good fortune of attending the National Retail Federation's annual meeting--The Big Show.
Shop.org, the NRF component that follows online retailing, and Forrester Research offered results of a survey on the "state of retailing online". Following are some interesting take-aways from their presentation:
- eCommerce year-over-year growth has slowed since 2003, but has been about 25% for the last three years (2004-2006)
- 2006 eCommerce sales totaled $220 billion (US$) and projections anticipate continued YOY growth of 25%
- Online retaliers/online shopping still lacks in the basics--complete product informaiton, effective and efficient package delivery, and site slow-downs/outages.
- Many, if not most, online retailers focus too much on the analytics of their sites instead of the feedback (voice) of their customers.
So what should we do in light of these findings?
1. Focus on getting the correct and complete product information on your site.
2. Offer a feedback mechanism for customers and consider implementing customer services from time to time.
3. Stay away from the whiz-bang features--they detract from your site and take energy you could be putting toward 1 and 2.
Online retailing is only one component of a successful multi-channel approach to retail. But it's important that you give it proper attention and resources.
For those of you attending CAMEX this year, considering learning more about your online retailing web site by attending one of the following sessions:
10 Ways to Make Your Web Site Smokin' Hot!
The Top 7 Things You Should Know About Your Web Site and Online Sales
Tony Ellis, CAE