February 4, 2011, 11:54 AM

Mobile commerce is a top 2011 priority for direct-to-consumer companies

Only 5% say they have no mobile initiatives planned for this year.

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Online revenue and traffic for business-to-consumer companies rose in 2010, according to a new survey of companies that sell directly to consumers via the web. 72% of respondents reported higher online revenue, and 77% reported increased traffic, with 61% seeing more natural traffic and 50% reporting higher traffic from paid search, finds the survey of 430 business-to-consumer companies by search technology and services provider Endeca Technologies Inc.

To further business goals in 2011, the companies say investment in the web experience for consumers is their top priority. 64% report are prioritizing improving their web sites with features like enhanced search, navigation, product content and overall ease of use, the survey says. Elements that build consumers’ confidence to make a purchase such as customer reviews, online communities and personalization are also an area of focus.

Mobile commerce is the top new area of investment, the survey finds. 35% of companies say they have a mobile program in place, while 30% are in the early stages of implementation and 25% are investigating options and plan to have a live mobile program in 2011. Less than 5% reported no mobile initiatives planned in the next 12 months.

Half of business-to-consumer companies struggle to understand when to integrate into their e-commerce platform additional systems for functions such as customer reviews or site search, the survey says. 45% say integrating technologies is difficult for technical teams managing a growing backlog of initiatives.

And improving and leveraging product content is a top 2011 priority identified in the survey. 44% of respondents say building out complete product content, including images, data, video, user guides and more, and using it across all channels is a priority this year.

“Consumers are demanding content-driven, multichannel commerce,” says John Andrews, vice president of product marketing, e-business, at Endeca. “The majority of B2C organizations we surveyed are attempting to deliver dynamic user experiences, but are finding it hard to do so consistently across channels.”

Endeca surveyed 430 retailers, consumer brand manufacturers and media companies.

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