April 13, 2012, 4:12 PM

Most senior retail execs are happy with their returns from e-commerce

And 71% say they’re investing more in e-commerce this year, a study says.

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81% of retail senior executives say they’re satisfied with their return on investment in e-commerce, and 71% say they’re increasing their investments in e-commerce this year, according to the 11th Annual Merchant Survey Report from research and advisory firm The E-tailing Group Inc.

The report, based on a survey of 147 senior executives conducted in the first quarter of this year, found that 29% were “very satisfied” with e-commerce ROI, and that 52% were “somewhat satisfied.” Another 10% were “somewhat dissatisfied,” 1% “very dissatisfied” and 8% “neutral.”

The satisfaction ratings were slightly lower than in the E-tailing Group’s  similar report from a year ago, which found that 84% were satisfied, 6% dissatisfied and 10% neutral.

This year’s report found that 27% of respondents were investing “significantly more” in e-commerce than last year, 44% “somewhat more” and 5% “somewhat less.” 24% said they were investing about the same as last year.

Following are merchandising tactics respondents cited as among the most valuable to them. The percentage is the total percentage of respondents who selected that tactic as one of their top three most valuable.

● Keyword search, 98%

● Sales/specials, 95%

● E-mail as merchandising vehicle, 94%

● Seasonal promotions, 94%

● “What’s new” call-outs, 93%

● Cross-sells, 92%

● Zoom, 92%

● Product ratings and reviews, 91%

● Alternate views, 90%

● Top sellers, 90%

● Up-sells, 90%

● Free shipping, conditional, 89%

● Category content, 87%

● Guided/faceted navigation, 87%

● Search landing pages that are merchandised, 87%

● Sharing via social networking, 87%

● Top-rated products, 87%

● Videos of products, 86%

● Exclusive merchandise offers, 85%

● Mobile commerce, 85%

● Coupons/rebates, 84%

● Facebook page, 84%

● Advanced search, 82%

● “Like” on Facebook, 81% 

● Alternate or deferred payment methods, 78%

● Blogs, 78%

● Gift center/gift suggestions, 75%

● Recently viewed, 75%

● Live chat, 74%

Lauren Freedman, president of The E-tailing Group, will speak at the Internet Retailer 2012 Conference & Exhibition  in a session titled “What shoppers want: listening in on the consumer voice.”

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