October 6, 2008, 12:00 AM

SEM, site search and e-mail key technologies for retailers, survey finds

89% of multi-channel and web-only retailers that employ search engine marketing, 85% that feature site search and 82% that use e-mail marketing say the technologies are key to their retail business, a survey from SLI Systems finds.

89% of retailers that employ search engine marketing, 85% that feature site search and 82% that use e-mail marketing say the technologies and tactics are “important” or “very important” to their retail business, a new survey says.

When it comes to newer technologies and tactics, 40% that use social media such as social networks and blogs, 38% of retailers that employ user-generated content such as customer reviews and online forums, 29% that feature online video, and 15% that have delved into m-commerce say these are “important” or “very important” to their business, according to “Trends in E-commerce Survey 2008,” conducted by research firm Zoomerang for SLI Systems Inc., a site search and navigation vendor.

E-retailers recognize the importance of search engine marketing, site search and e-mail marketing, and now is the time to prepare to use these technologies effectively in the important months ahead, says SLI Systems CEO Shaun Ryan. “Adopting proven technologies in the bustling world of e-commerce will enable retailers to deliver a better customer experience and ensure the holidays are fruitful,” he says.

82% of the 322 retail executives surveyed believe the effectiveness of their site search technology will increase during the next three years and 76% feel the same about their search engine marketing programs and user-generated content. Asked which technologies will have an increased impact on their marketing goals in the near future, 72% point to social media tools, 69% online video, 68% m-commerce, and 52% e-mail marketing.

Retailers minimizing marketing spend because of current economic constraints are not inclined to diminish their core marketing programs, the survey finds, but would rather decrease spending on or eliminate activities they find less productive, such as podcasts (38%) and static display ads (38%).

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