Thursday, July 15, 2010

State of Online Retailing

The full results of the first State of Retailing Online (SORO) 2010 survey conducted by and Forrester Research were released today, covering interactive marketing, social media and mobile.

Results are broken out by company type (multichannel vs. pureplay), size (annual Web revenue), and Web selling tenure, as well as by category for apparel, accessories & footwear; beauty & personal care; general merchandisers; home; and sporting goods & accessories.

A few highlights:

    * Retailers surveyed reported an average of 29% growth in Web sales for 2009 vs. 2008.
    * Search still takes the lion’s share of interactive marketing budgets, with paid search dominating as the largest single allocation of marketing spend. Furthermore, nine out of 10 retailers surveyed noted search engine marketing was among the most effective customer acquisition sources last year.
    * Retailers are investing this year in browse and navigation functionality, as well as product page content.
    * Four out of five retailers surveyed said that this is a great time to pursue social marketing strategies so they can experiment and learn from them – even if the return is as yet unclear.
    * To date, social marketing initiatives implemented include social network pages, microblogs, and customer ratings and reviews, among others. Anticipated investments going forward center on further leveraging customer/user-generated content.
    * Mobile is another significant focus for online retailers. While many are still developing their mobile strategy, retailers surveyed have big plans for functionality for this emerging channel, anticipating an average investment this year for mobile of about $170,000 (and quite a bit more for large and multichannel retailers specifically).

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