February 10, 2011, 12:08 PM

Retailers must think creatively to engage web shoppers, says a design conference speaker

The E-tailing Group’s Lauren Freedman will highlight innovative merchandising techniques.

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Online consumers are demanding, forcing retailers to be innovative in the ways in which they motivate shoppers to make a purchase, says Lauren Freedman, president of The E-tailing Group, who will be speaking next week at the Internet Retailer Web Design & Usability Conference 2011.

“Savvy merchants leverage the unique capabilities of the web when developing and executing merchandising strategies,” she says. “Understanding the possibilities, the potential and best-in-class execution is what sets merchants apart.”

However, that doesn’t mean that retailers need to need to be completely original in their web site designs. Rather, they can learn from, and adapt, elements of other merchants’ efforts.

For instance, 23% of merchants in The E-Tailing Group’s new Mystery Shopping study sent an abandonment e-mail to consumers who left an item in their shopping carts. And 17% of those e-mails offered consumers an incentive to purchase. That demonstrates that many retailers are taking action to prevent potential sales from slipping through their fingertips, she says.

As part of her presentation Freedman will also highlight the rapid growth of mobile commerce. The number of retailers with mobile offerings grew 238.5% year-over-year from Q4 2009 to Q4 2010 .

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