December 15, 2011, 8:37 AM

E-commerce technology spending is set to increase

Retailers will dig deeper in 2012 to pay for better e-commerce systems.

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Internet retailers are ratcheting up their information systems spending and expect to budget significantly more resources for e-commerce technology and services in 2012, according to research contained in Internet Retailer’s newly published 2012 Complete Guide to E-Commerce Technology.

In particular web merchants will invest in better applications that will strengthen their core e-commerce infrastructure and integrate their e-commerce platforms more effectively with other information systems. Online merchants will also spend more on software, systems and specialists that will help them build more robust mobile commerce and social media sites, according to the new survey published in the 2012 Complete Guide to E-Commerce Technology.

The survey results show that many web merchants are in a mood to invest in more e-commerce systems and services. In 2012, 79.4% of merchants will increase their e-commerce technology spending. Among that group, 19.5% will spend at least 5% more, 53.3% between 5.1% and 15% more, 7.8% will increase spending from 15.1% to 20%, 5.3% from 20.1% to 25% and 14.2% from 25.1% to 50%. The survey includes responses from more than 100 retail chains, catalog companies, web-only merchants and consumer brand manufacturers.

“Online is the channel where the growth is coming from, so that’s where more retailers are going to keep on investing the most technology dollars,” says Brian Walker, vice president and principal analyst for e-business and channel strategy at Forrester Research Inc. “Some multichannel retailers plan to close more stores or scale back on other information technology, but they will continue to upgrade and expand their web infrastructure.”

For most merchants the single biggest priority is purchasing a better e-commerce platform, followed by making bigger investments in mobile commerce and social media. The survey results reveal that a new e-commerce platform is a top spending priority for 59.8% of merchants, compared with 45.4% that are budgeting more money for mobile commerce, 41.2% for more social media, 33% for a better order management system, 32% for advanced web analytics, 29.9% for better site search, 22.7% for a more effective customer relationship management system, and 21.6% for customer reviews and ratings tools or enhanced web performance monitoring. Respondents could choose more than one answer.

“Where retailers are going to spend the most money next year is on those tools and programs that make it easier and faster for consumers to shop, research and make a purchase from their smartphone or tablet, and share the experience with their family and friends on Facebook and elsewhere,” says Walker. “There’s a sense of urgency on the part of many retailers that mobile and social technologies are fundamentally changing the ways consumers are interacting with themselves and how they shop online. To keep pace with their customers, merchants tell us they have to keep investing in better technology.”

For 68% of merchants, attracting new customers is the main reason to increase spending on e-commerce applications and services, followed by 63.9% that see a bigger investment in technology as a way to boost conversion rates, 60.8% that want to generate more sales from repeat customers, 32% aiming to attract more traffic and sales through mobile commerce, 29.9% that want to reach more buyers through social media, and 18.6% hoping to increase ticket size, according to the research published in the 2012 Complete Guide to E-Commerce Technology.

The fact-filled 416-page 2012 Complete Guide to E-Commerce Technology contains business profiles and vital product, pricing and retailer client details on more than 1,200 application developers and service providers in 23 e-commerce market segments. The Guide also contains the names and contact information of 4,000 executives at all of America's e-commerce technology vendors. Click here for information about contents and to order.


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