Plans to improve the shopping experience
Although online retailing is scoring higher than stores in customer satisfaction surveys, retailers are still learning the best ways to please online consumers, research and advisory firm Retail Systems Research LLC says in a new study, “Playing Well with Others: eCommerce’s Evolving Role in the Customer Experience-Benchmark Report 2008.” 42% of average retailers and 55% of “winners” (retailers that outperform their peers in sales) expect the online channel to account for more than 30% of total sales by 2011. But reaching that goal will require improvements in several areas. While 77% of retailers in the study said they expect to benefit from better designed checkout screens, only 38% said they currently realize those benefits. And providing updated information on products and availability remains a challenge. Nonetheless, the study points to several areas where retailers are investing in e-commerce technology and strategies, including online video and product reviews, to push e-commerce to new heights.