We were honored to sponsor and help host the most recent Shop.org webinar covering key findings from their “State of Retailing Online 2015: Metrics, Key Initiatives, and Mobile Benchmarks” study created with Forrester Research. Speakers included Sucharita Mulpuru (VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research), Fiona Swerdlow (Shop.org Head of Research), and retailers Mike Molitor (SVP E-commerce, Kohl’s) and Jules Pieri (Co-founder and CEO, The Grommet).
Technologists and retailers regularly look to Shop.org and Forrester to stay close to the pulse of the market and the priorities of their peers and competitors. This latest report keyed in on four top retailer priorities – continued omnichannel support, merchandising optimization, retention of current desktop customers, and business growth through mobile investment.
Sucharita pointed out that with traffic growth to desktop flattening, the most important thing you can do for desktop is better engage your current shoppers and make sure that they come back by providing a compelling experience. Additionally, consumer behavior is guiding retailers where they need to spend, and that absolutely includes mobile.
Here are the specific key recommendations that were shared:
• Younger businesses need to get to industry standard by addressing low-hanging fruit like site merchandising challenges.
• Mature businesses need to focus on retaining customers in order to reduce market costs.
• Retailers do not need to invest in millions of dollars in mobile to serve customers in their immediate context and moments of need while shopping.
We loved the open Q&A discussion around mobile. All noted that the majority of mobile browse is being driven by email, Google searches and social links, and the trend is looking like more retailers are putting their dollars and priorities into improving that experience versus building mobile apps.
Mike noted, though, that they’ve heavily invested in their mobile app and tying it into their loyalty programs in the past year, and they have seen great results. Jules said their biggest mobile-specific focus has been on creating mobile-optimized emails and newsletters, which has had a very positive effect on open rates and other metrics.
The webinar closed with both retail representatives talking about their priorities and technology that’s on their radar, much of which aligned with what we hear from our clients.
• Aggressive focus on checkout flow to identify causes of abandonment.
• Truly understanding conversion by device. The smaller the screen size, the lower the conversion. Can we figure out a way to flip that?
• Image search and image-based discovery.
• Search and browse optimization. Tactically calling out the ability to land shoppers on a set of products that are easy for them to refine. Mike also addressed the evolution of “search” at a macro level saying, “The process of typing into a box has got to change.”
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