U.K. merchants also improved SEO and merchandising to drive holiday sales.
Katie Evans , Managing Editor, International Research
As the end of the year draws near, U.K. merchants are looking ahead at ways to increase sales in 2013. Many are addressing and tackling issues they encountered this year. A new poll of 110 U.K. retailers about their e-commerce operations conducted by Survey Monkey on behalf of site search vendor SLI Systems finds that the biggest challenges for merchants this year were improving conversions, say 60% of respondents, attracting more customers to their web sites (55%), expanding internationally (22%), and improving logistics (18%).
When it comes to priorities for the coming year, the most popular answer is improving site search, which 22% of the companies polled noted. That is followed by beefing up search engine optimization, or SEO (17%) and mobile commerce (15%).
A little more than two-thirds of retailers polled either have a mobile commerce site or plan to launch one this year. 41% of retailers surveyed say they plan to build a mobile commerce site next year and 35% already have one. 22% say they plan to build a mobile app and 10% already have one. 24% say they will enhance site search functionality on their mobile commerce site or app in 2013.
However, retailers didn’t save all the work for next year, the survey reveals. U.K. e-retailers took a number of actions this year in preparation for the 2012 holiday shopping season. A little over half say they worked on tweaking and improving SEO and 35% say they beefed up merchandising. Additionally, 33% say they improved visualization by adding more images and features such as zoom, 33% worked to improve navigation and 28% updated site search in an effort to deliver more relevant search results.
Retailers also have added content to their sites in hopes of driving sales. For example, 66% of retailers polled say they have Twitter feeds incorporated into their sites, 62% have blogs and 59% incorporate video. The most popular content the surveyed retailers plan to add is how-to information (35%), blog posts (27%) and online videos (25%).
Of the respondents: