March 12, 2008, 12:00 AM

Web analytics the leading source for merchandising plans, study says

Web analytics technology is the most popular information source used by online retailers in making merchandising decisions, The E-Tailing Group Inc. says in a new study.

Web analytics technology is the most popular information source used by online retailers in making merchandising decisions, The E-Tailing Group Inc. says in a new study.

The E-Tailing Group`s 7th Annual Merchant Survey, based on 187 responses to a survey of online retailers, found that 86%, or 160 respondents, cited web analytics as a source when planning merchandising strategies. The next most popular source was tied to sales history, at 72%, followed by brand strategy, 65%; seasonal/promotional merchandising calendar, 63%; inventory data, 60%; and merchandising “gut” feeling, 54%. Respondents were allowed to cite more than one information source.

Analytics also plays a part in other information sources cited by respondents, including conversion data and search marketing performance data. Following are the remaining information sources included in the survey with the percent of respondents citing them:

  • Product margin, 52%
  • Conversion data, 51%
  • Cross-channel store-catalog initiatives, 49%
  • Customer acquisition/retention strategy, 47%
  • Sales ranking, 41%
  • Search engine marketing/search engine optimization performance data, 38%
  • Search data, 35%
  • Customer profiling, 33%
  • E-mail purchasing patterns, 30%
  • Consumer ratings and reviews, 27%
  • Trending data, 26%
  • Vendor co-op, 17%
  • Registered member data, 10%
  • Enterprise resource planning systems, 6%

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