A Profitero study showed Target’s online prices were 25% more expensive than Wal-Mart’s, which were just slightly more expensive than prices on Amazon.
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Finding a technology fit
Once retailers decide on a technology vendor, they need to check out the vendor’s level of expertise. Asking such questions as what other retailers have they worked with, can their application scale up and down, what level of support they can expect in the event of problems and expected response time can help retailers make informed purchasing decisions.
“Retailers need to find out what level of expertise the vendor has in their market segment and what plan of action they have to support their technology,” says Keating. “Technology partners need to be a good fit for the retailer’s business.”
As e-commerce technology continues its rapid evolution, e-retailers that take the time to understand their customers’ needs and preferences will be in the best position to obtain the technology they need to thrive without breaking their budgets.
“Consumers are clearly becoming multichannel shoppers,” says Freed. ”And before retailers invest in new technology to serve their multichannel needs, they must understand what influences consumer behavior and satisfaction in each channel.”
By identifying what influences consumer behavior, retailers can make better purchasing decisions for new technology, even if they have limited financial resources.
“Retailers can make inexpensive investments in new technology that yield substantial benefits,” Schmelkin says, “provided they take the time to understand where the most beneficial changes can be made and to find the right technology partner.”