Online Retailers to Shift Marketing Focus

As online retailers look ahead, many predict continued softness in revenues for the next 12 months. Last month, we highlighted how online retailers plan to tweak their Web sites to make their offerings and checkout processes more appealing to shoppers. This information was based on’s most recent report which also included findings on how online retailers plan to up the number of visitors to their Web sites. 900967_shop_button

According to the study, nearly 1 in 4 online retailers believes the coming year presents an opportunity to not only retain but to win more customers. To do so, the following percentages of these retailers plan to increase  marketing spending in these specific categories:

  • Search (80% )
  • E‑mail (65%)
  • Social marketing (60%)

This is not to say that retailers won’t be working to retain existing customers. Many of these businesses believe e‑mail represents the most cost-​effective marketing tool and plan the following outreach:

  • Segmented e‑mails to customers within the parameters of stated preferences or previous purchase data (71%)
  • E‑mails that highlight new product availability (55%)
  • E‑mail invitations to participate in surveys or to provide feedback (55%)
  • E‑mails that promise online-​only promotions (53%)

The goal of these campaigns will be to keep the conversion rate of 3%  to 3.5% as steady in the future as it has been in the past.

Source: “The State of Retailing Online 2009: Merchandising Report,” conducted for Shop​.org, a division of the National Retail Federation (NRF), by Forrester Research, July 15, 2009.  Website: www​.shop​.org.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.