April 28, 2006, 12:00 AM

Survey: Multi-channel E-commerce systems

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Today, multi-channel retailers are collecting more data on their shoppers-and the Internet Retailer survey reveals that 44.4% of companies that have integrated their e-commerce systems with the customer information systems are using specific data such as past purchases to present online customers with specific merchandising recommendations. But given that that 37% is a subset of the 44% that have integrated their e-commerce systems with the customer information systems, the proportion of retailers able to make such product recommendations is quite small-only about 16% of all retailers.

The proportion of shoppers who respond to such recommendations is even smaller, according to the survey. 56% of retailers who make recommendations say that the percentage of customers who respond to them is 10% or less. So for all the attention that targeted cross-sell and upsell get, less than 2% of all sales are the result of such recommendations.

The Internet Retailer survey, which asked web retailers 20 detailed questions about their e-commerce technology and multi-channel programs, shows that the next major step in multi-channel integration is offering customers more cross-channel gift registries and gift card programs that can be redeemed both online and in stores. The survey found that only 13% of retailers offered a cross-channel registry, while less than one-half-43.7%-have e-commerce technology that supported multi-channel gift cards. l

mark@verticalwebmedia.com

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